Saudi Arabia Says Progress On Syria, But No Future Role For Assad


By Rashid Hassan

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday that Syrian leader Bashar Assad should have no role in Syria’s “future,” adding there had been some progress in international talks on resolving the conflict.

He made the comments after meeting his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo, and a day after Saudi Arabia and the US called for more international efforts to restore stability in Syria without Assad.

“There are ongoing international consultations on implementing the Geneva 1 proposal,” Al-Jubeir told a news conference, referring to a 2012 initiative for a transitional Syrian government.

“I think there has been some progress so far and positions are coming closer…but I can’t say we’ve reached an agreement and there needs to be more consultations,” he said.

Al-Jubeir said “most countries” shared the Kingdom’s views on solving the four-year-conflict.

“We are committed to implementing the principles of Geneva to establish a transitional authority that installs a constitution and directs the government and military ahead of elections,” he said.

“And Bashar Assad will have no role in Syria’s future. That is the position of the Kingdom and that is the position of most countries in the world,” he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi government on Saturday called for greater global efforts to restore stability to Syria without Assad at its helm.

The US Embassy in Riyadh said on Sunday that the meeting with Kerry agreed to increase support for the moderate opposition in Syria.

The Embassy quoted State Department spokesperson John Kirby as saying: “Following up on last week’s meeting on Syria in Vienna, the secretary of state thanked King Salman for extending support to multilateral efforts to pursue a political transition in Syria, in accordance with the Geneva communique and reaffirmed our mutual goal of achieving a unified, pluralistic and stable country for all Syrians.”

Kirby added: “Both sides noted the importance of mobilizing the international community to support this goal and reiterated the need for a transition away from Bashar Assad.”

Geneva communique, a UN-backed international peace conference on the future of Syria, aims to end the crisis by bringing together the Syrian government and the opposition to discuss the clear steps toward a transitional government with full powers.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *