Arab summit calls for political solution in Syria

Arab summit calls for political solution in Syria
Men carrying children run out of a burning building following a barrel bomb attack reportedly dropped by government forces in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 8, 2014.

KUWAIT CITY - Arab leaders on Wednesday called for a political solution to the conflict in Syria, although the Syrian opposition had asked for "sophisticated" arms to tip the balance of power.

"We call for a political solution to the crisis in Syria based on the Geneva I communique," calling for a peaceful transition of power, they said in a statement at the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait.

The communique was drawn up at an international conference in 2012 in the Swiss city without the participation of the Syrian government or rebels.

The two warring sides met at so-called Geneva II peace talks which UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi broke off on February 15 without setting a date for a resumption of negotiations.

At the summit on Monday, Syria's opposition National Coalition chief Ahmed Jarba repeated calls on the international community to supply rebels with "sophisticated weapons".

"I do not ask you for a declaration of war," said Jarba, urging Arab leaders to put pressure on world powers to fulfil pledges to supply arms.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, whose country is a key backer of the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the world was "betraying" rebels by failing to arm them.

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