Al-Jubeir: It is premature to determine the return of Syria to the Arab League
It is premature to determine the return of Syria to the Arab League, said Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir.
“The return of Syria to the Arab League is linked to the political progress, and I think the topic is still early to discuss,” said al-Jubeir during a joint conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Saudi Capital of Riyadh.
When asked about the Kingdom re-opening its embassy in Damascus, al-Jubeir said that this was also early to determine.
“Syria’s reconstruction process will only occur after the Syrian war has been put to an end, and a political solution has been reached to guarantee peace and stability in Syria,” added al-Jubeir.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a history in helping its Arab brothers (...) The Kingdom is among the largest humanitarian aid providers who have given aid to more than 100 countries,” said al-Jubeir.
Al-Jubeir stressed that both Riyadh and Moscow agree to Syria’s sovereignty and the need for a political solution to help Syria build a better future.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia is determined to help Syrian factions in concluding a constitutional committee.
“We want to help the Syrian parties to end efforts on setting up a constitutional committee. I want to highlight that this situation is clear and the Syrian sides who are concerned with this are official authorities and the opposition (…) we call on the government and opposition to reach full agreement,” he said. “The Syrians themselves have to determine their future.”
During the news conference in Riyadh, al-Jubeir also said that he believes Canada will go ahead with a multibillion-dollar arms deal with the Kingdom despite remarks by the Canadian prime minister suggesting that Ottawa was looking for a way out of the agreement.
“Regarding the Canada arms deal, we see the Canadian government going ahead with the deal, so the statements are for domestic consumption,” Al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh.
Lavrov arrived in Riyadh on Monday, marking the second destination of his Gulf State tour after Doha.
The Russian foreign minister was received by al-Jubeir and is due to meet Saudi King Salman and some Saudi officials on Tuesday.
Lavrov is expected to discuss with the Saudi King the situation in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the Gulf region, as well as the Palestinian-Israeli solution.
His Gulf tour is expected to include a visit to the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.