Saudi Foreign Minister: Position on Syria Unchanged; Assad Must Step Down
October 14, 2015
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir reiterated the Kingdom’s position towards the crisis in Syria, maintaining that President Bashar al-Assad is the cause of the ongoing conflict and has no future in Syria.
“There is no change. From the beginning of the crisis, the position of the Kingdom is that Al-Assad is the problem in the Syria crisis,” said the Foreign Minister. “He killed hundreds of thousands of his people, displaced millions and destroyed the country as a whole…he has no future in Syria.”
Speaking at a joint news conference yesterday in Riyadh with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Minister Al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia is working to convince Russia to push for a political solution to the crisis that does not include the presence of Al-Assad.
The Foreign Minister also discussed the ongoing Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, saying the coalition has achieved success in reversing the gains by Houthi forces and now is the time for a political process to begin.
Minister Al-Jubeir dismissed comments by former president Ali Abdullah Salah denying the presence of Iranians in Yemen, saying that the former president has a history of making statements devoid of reality. The minister stressed that “everyone knows that the Iranians are present in Yemen, provide support for the Houthis, supply them with weapons, and provide them with military experts.”
“I believe that the matter of the end of hostilities lies entirely with the Houthis and with Saleh," the minister said. "They are the ones who started this, and they are the ones who continue this.”