Saudi Arabia Calls Emergency UN Meeting On Syrian War Crimes

Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey and Qatar, is requesting an emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to deal with Syrian war crimes, according to a report by Kuwait News Agency.

According to Al Arabiya News, the request was sent on Feb. 7 and cites “growing evidence of war crimes” as the reason why an emergency meeting is needed. The letter expresses concern over lack of implementation of existing U.N. sanctions enacted in October 2013 and says:

“U.N. officials have been repeatedly expressing their frustration and disappointment at the lack of progress in addressing the grave humanitarian situation and growing body of evidence pointing to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

According to Albawaba News, the letter also says:

“Although the parties agreed to reconvene in Geneva on Feb. 10 of 2014 for the second round of talks, the inability to reach an agreement in the first round to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people is an urgent issue of serious concern for the international community.”

These calls for renewed U.N. attention come as a delegation of the Syrian government and rebel groups are meeting in Switzerland for a second round of peace talks. The delegation arrived in Switzerland on Sunday.

According to Eurasia Review, the request for an emergency meeting to address Syrian war crimes was sent directly to John Ashe, current president of the U.N. General Assembly. The report says that Ashe will reply to the request from Saudi Arabia after he has had a chance to consult with other countries. Saudi Arabia has a permanent mission at the United Nations.

Al Abawa reports that residents of the city of Homs have been evacuated in accordance with a U.N.-brokered agreement calling for a three day cease fire to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged city. The report claims that 600 residents, including elderly men, women and children, were bussed out of the combat zone. However, aid convoys were attacked by unidentified assailants, effectively breaking the cease fire agreement.

Al Aribiya reports that Syria’s Red Crescent – an aid organization affiliated with the Red Cross – has also delivered food and medical aid to the areas of the city under rebel control.

As of this writing, it is unknown when – or if – the U.N. General Assembly will meet to address Saudi Arabia’s evidence of Syrian war crimes. However, Kuwait News Agency reports that U.N. Aid Chief Valerie Amos is scheduled to brief the U.N. Security Council about the situation on Thursday.

What do you think? Will the efforts by Saudi Arabia help put an end to – or at least bring accountability for – Syrian war crimes?