Saudi foreign minister sees no future for Bashar in Syria

Reuters , Tuesday 13 Oct 2015

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday that Riyadh's position on Syria had not changed, insisting that President Bashar al-Assad had no future in Syria.

Asked if Saudi Arabia had changed its stance, Jubeir said: "There is no change, from the beginning of the crisis, the position of the kingdom is that Bashar is the problem in the Syria crisis. He killed hundreds of thousands of his people, displaced millions and destroyed the country as a whole ..."

"He has no future in Syria," he added.

Speaking at a joint news conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Jubeir also said that it was up to Yemen's Iranian-allied Houthi group and former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh to bring an end to the war in that country.

"They are the ones who started this and they are the ones who continue this. We believe that the political process is the better option and that the Houthis and Saleh forces should avail themselves of this opportunity and reach a settlement," he said.

Fabius, in remarks translated into Arabic, called on Russia to use its influence to stop Assad from using barrel bombs in Syria and said Paris wanted to ensure that Syrian institutions would remain strong and did not want to see any further chaos in the country.

Fabius was accompanying French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on a visit to Saudi Arabia, in which the French side announced 10 billion euros ($11 billion) worth of contracts with the world's largest oil exporter. 

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