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Saudi says negotiated Syria settlement "inconceivable"

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RIYADH, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the scale of violence used by Syria's government when fighting rebels meant a negotiated settlement of the country's crisis was unthinkable.

"Damascus... which has been a city for the longest period of time, is carpet bombed. How can you conceive of the possibility of a negotiated settlement with somebody who does that to his own country, to his own history, to his own people? It is inconceivable to us," Prince Saud al-Faisal told a news conference.

He was speaking after an Arab summit focusing on economic development, which was not attended by Syria. The world's top oil exporter has led Arab efforts to isolate the government of President Bashar al-Assad, which is allied to Saudi Arabia's main regional rival Iran.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall, Editing by William Maclean and Jon Boyle)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130122/saudi-says-negotiated-syria-settlement-inconceivable