Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that Riyadh has a “similar stance” to that of Turkey regarding Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Both sides dismissed the possibility of a transitional process in Syria that would include Bashar Al-Assad.
In a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu during a visit to Ankara on Thursday, Jubeir said the positions of Turkey and Saudi Arabia “fully coincide with each other regarding Syria, Iraq or Yemen, including terrorism.”
Jubeir described the peace plan put forth by the Syrian opposition as “detailed” and “complete,” and said the Assad regime was still rejecting a political solution. He also noted that “Syria will be free and united and there will be no Assad in it.”
Jubeir reaffirmed his country’s support for the military operations the Turkish army has been carrying out in and around the town of Jarablos in northern Syria, adding that Saudi Arabia has been one of the first countries to propose the formation of an international coalition to fight ISIS and to contribute to the coalition.
Jubeir pointed to the close Saudi-Turkish relationships at the levels of intelligence gathering, military coordination, and exchange of information, adding that the two countries have been sparing no efforts to unify the moderate Syrian opposition.
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu reiterated that a transition period could not be made with Assad, adding that “a person using chlorine gas against its own people staying in administration means the continuation of chaos in Syria.”
Cavusoglu stressed that it is not possible for someone who is responsible for the death of 600,000 people to remain in power. He said that reaching a ceasefire and ensuring political transition in Syria as well as the stabilization of Syria, Yemen and Iraq are at the forefront of the joint Turkish-Saudi efforts.
The Syrian opposition announced a roadmap for political solution in Syria during a meeting of foreign ministers of the Friends of Syria Group in London on Wednesday. The peace plan, dubbed Executive Framework for Political Solution in Syria, consists of three “phases” with Bashar Al-Assad having to be transitioned out in the second one. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)