U.S and Saudi Arabia agree there should be ‘no role’ for Assad

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The United States and Saudi Arabia agreed on Monday that there should be “no role” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in any transitional period.

“There are no differences with Saudi Arabia about objective in Syria,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart in Riyadh.

“Assad has lost all legitimacy, and he must go,” added Kerry, who described ties with Riyadh as “strategic” and “enduring.”

Washington “appreciates Saudi Arabia’s commitment to peace in Syria, but the crisis will not end through military force,” said Kerry.

While he said Washington would continue to support the Syrian opposition, he warned that “violent extremists” in the country are growing in strength and must be stopped.

He said, however, that the United States “won’t stand idly,” but did not elaborate.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said differences between his country and Washington “were mostly on tactics” rather than on “goals.”

“[U.S.-Saudi] relations have always been based on independence and respect and based on serving mutual interests,” Reuters quoted Prince Saud as saying.

“Difference is a normal matter and we seek to mend it through communication between the two nations,” he added.

Referring to Syria, the minister said negotiations are important but talks should not go on “indefinitely.”

“But we, at the same time, realize that negotiations should not go on indefinitely, especially that tremendous tasks are ahead of us and they need decisive intervention.”

He added: “The international community has failed in stopping deadly violence in Syria,”

He also said the United Nations dismantling chemical weapons sites in Syria did not stop deadly violence in the country.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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