RIYADH, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Saudi government on Monday
urged a firm stance by the international community regarding
what it called threats by Israel against Lebanon, Syria and the
(The cabinet) appeals to the international community on the
need for a rigorous position about these (Israeli threats) and
to step up efforts to end the continuous inhumane Israeli
practices against the Palestinian people, the cabinet said
after its weekly meeting chaired by King Abdullah.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, responding to
Syria's accusation Israel was pushing for a war, said earlier
this month that Damascus would be defeated and President Bashar
al-Assad would lose power in any future conflict.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak earlier said that the
absence of an agreement with Syria could lead to armed conflict
that could develop into all-out war.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reassured
Syria that Israel sought peace after Lieberman's remarks.
The statement followed comments by Saudi Prince Turki
al-Faisal in which he sought to downplay the significance of his
handshake with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon at a
conference in Munich on Saturday.
Prince Turki, an ex-head of Saudi intelligence touted by
Western diplomats to be the kingdom's next foreign minister,
said the handshake did not mean that the kingdom recognised
Israel, Saudi newspapers reported on Monday.
(Reporting by Souhail Karam; Editing by Dominic Evans)