Bloomberg News

Donilon Discusses Syria With King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia

October 01, 2011

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon thanked Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and the Gulf Cooperation Council for their opposition to violence in Syria “perpetrated by the Assad regime” during a visit to Saudi Arabia today, according to a White House statement.

During a one-day visit to Riyadh, Donilon “commended” King Abdullah for his call for “an end to violence against civilians” led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

Assad’s oppression has left more than 3,600 civilians dead since the protests began in March, according to Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria. About 30,000 people have been detained and 13,000 are still being held, Qurabi said. About 700 members of the state security forces have been killed in the uprising.

American Ambassador Robert Ford, a critic of Assad, escaped an attack by a mob in Damascus two days ago.

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--With assistance from Massoud A. Derhally in Beirut, Lebanon. Editors: Ann Hughey, Christian Thompson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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