Syrian soldiers patrol the Sheik Said neighbourhood of Aleppo, on November 11, 2012
Syrian soldiers patrol the Sheik Said neighbourhood of Aleppo, on November 11, 2012. Japan and Saudi Arabia have condemned "grave" human rights violations by Syria's regime which they said has lost its "legitimacy", in a joint statement after a meeting of top officials. © - AFP/File
Syrian soldiers patrol the Sheik Said neighbourhood of Aleppo, on November 11, 2012
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AFP
Last updated: May 1, 2013

Japan and Saudi condemn Syrian regime's "grave" violations

Japan and Saudi Arabia condemned "grave" human rights violations by Syria's regime which they said has lost its "legitimacy", in a joint statement on Wednesday after a meeting of top officials.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived Tuesday in the OPEC kingpin, where he met with Crown Prince and Defence Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz.

"Both sides condemned the continuation of grave violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities," said a joint Saudi-Japanese statement.

They also stressed that the "regime had lost its legitimacy."

On the economic front, the two countries "stressed the importance of the stability of the oil market for the global economy."

Japan expressed its "appreciation for the balanced oil policy pursued by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a secure and reliable source in supplying oil to the international markets in general, and to the Japanese market in particular."

Saudi Arabia also insisted it is committed to "continuing its stable supply of oil to the Japanese market."

Saudi Arabia supplies 30 percent of Japan's oil imports, with another 20 percent coming from the United Arab Emirates, 10 percent from Qatar and nine percent from Iran.

Voicing support for the opposition Syrian National Coalition, both countries hoped the umbrella group would play a leading role in a political transition in the war-torn country.

They also "stressed their concerns for the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria," and pledged continued contributions to answer urgent needs, in coordination with international organisations.

Syria has been locked in a deadly conflict that began with a peaceful uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule before it descended into a full-scale war between his forces and armed opposition groups.

Saudi Arabia is among the Gulf states accused by Damascus of sending arms to the rebels.

More than 70,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in mid-March 2011.

After Saudi, Abe is expected to take part in the Japan-United Arab Emirates Business Forum in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

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