Saudi FM criticizes Syria as Arab summit opens in Damascus

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said Saturday that the kingdom had no choice but to boycott the Arab League summit in Syria because of criticism and attacks that were hindering a solution to the Lebanese crisis and because Damascus did not abide by an Arab "consensus" on the issue. In a press conference broadcast live on some Arab TVs during the Arab League summit's opening session Saturday in Damascus, Prince Faisal said from Riyadh that "the kingdom has never boycotted a summit before." He said "criticism" and "attacks" by some unspecified Lebanese factions kept Saudi Arabia away and stressed the crucial role Syria could play in solving the lingering presidential crisis in Lebanon. "The problem is that what had been decided by consensus, including by Syria, regarding the Lebanese crisis, has not been implemented," he said, without giving further details.