Kingdom supports political solution that lets Assad go

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Saudi Arabia is committed to a political solution that would lead to Syrian President Bashar Assad giving up power, said Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir in Russia.
He said the Kingdom plans to tackle challenges in the region jointly with Moscow. Al-Jubeir also reiterated that a road map discussed by global and regional powers in 2012 should be the guiding principle for any Syria talks
Al-Jubeir lauded the “constructive talks” held between Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The talks touched on military cooperation, fighting terrorism and political coordination in areas related to the region, notably Yemen and Syria, he was quoted as saying by the SPA.
Al-Jubeir said he clarified the Kingdom’s stance over Russia’s military operations in Syria and its concern that these operations could be interpreted as an alliance between Iran, Hezbollah and Assad.
Al-Jubeir said the Kingdom’s stance on the Syrian crisis, notably toward Assad, would remain unchanged, which included that a political solution was needed based on the principles of Geneva 1.
This calls for the establishment of a transitional authority composed of the regime and the opposition to run the country’s affairs, prepare for new elections, draft a new constitution, and the removal of Assad.
Al-Jubeir expressed hope that a solution could be found that would ensure integrity of the country, preserve its military institutions and the rights of its peoples.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he and Al-Jubeir were assigned to intensify contact between the two nations’ ministries of foreign affairs, defense and intelligence to fight against terrorism.
In response to reporters’ questions, Lavrov said that talks were taking place to ensure contact between Russia, Egypt and the moderate Syrian opposition.
Al-Jubeir, in response to a question, said that the Kingdom was at the forefront of countries fighting terrorism, and had seen many citizens martyred in the process at the hands of Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

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