Saudi FM says to get rid of ISIS, Assad must go

Saudi Foreign Minister reiterated Riyadh’s stance and said Assad clinging to power is allowing more Islamists to spread in Syria

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Saudi's foreign minister said on Thursday that embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad clinging in power is working as a “magnet” by allowing foreign militants to recruit more fighters, and he must go to rid Syria of ISIS.

Adel Jubeir reiterated Riyadh’s stance after President Assad met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday in his first foreign visit since 2011.

After the visit, Putin also spoke with Saudi King Salman to discuss Syria.

Jubeir said Riyadh believes in Syrian “unity” and to keep its government institutions intact.

He also urged for a “peaceful” solution as soon as possible, and urged for the implementation of Geneva I peace communique.

The Geneva talks - last held in January last year - marked the first time Syria’s warring sides had sat down together since the war began in 2011. They revolved around the so-called Geneva I communique, drawn up by an international conference in 2012 in the Swiss city.

While the communique does not mention Assad’s role in Syria, Assad’s government grudgingly accepted the principles of the communique as it endorses political transition.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates should be part of talks to solve the crisis in Syria, Russian news agencies reported.

Lavrov also said Russia does not see the point in providing external support for Syria without Iran’s participation.

But Jubeir said Iran is part of the problem and should not be part of the solution in Syria.

THUMBNAIL75x50_Saudi FM says difficult to see Iran play peace-making role in Syria
THUMBNAIL75x50_Saudi FM says difficult to see Iran play peace-making role in Syria
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