Deputy Crown Prince’s meet­ing with Obama fruit­ful: Al-Jubeir

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON—Deputy Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man’s meet­ing with US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day was “fruit­ful” and “con­struc­tive”, ac­cord­ing to Saudi For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Adel Al-Jubeir.

In a press con­fer­ence at the Saudi em­bassy on Fri­day, AlJubeir said the bi­lat­eral talks cov­ered a wide range of is­sues, and that the king­dom’s po­si­tion on the Syr­ian cri­sis “con­verged” with Wash­ing­ton’s po­si­tion, “in­di­cat­ing that the two coun­tries agree on a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion to the Syr­ian cri­sis and the need for the re­moval of Bashar al-As­sad.”

A White House press state­ment said Obama “ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Saudi Ara­bia’s con­tri­bu­tions to the cam­paign against ISIL,” us­ing an acro- nym for the Daesh group, re­ports Arab News.

The two talked about steps to sup­port Iraqis “in­clud­ing in­creased Gulf sup­port to fund ur­gent hu­man­i­tar­ian and sta­bi­liza­tion needs,” the White House said.

Al-Jubeir said, “Saudi Ara­bia is seek­ing to pre­serve Syr­ian ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, pre­serv­ing of state in­sti­tu­tions and that it had, re­peat­edly, called for mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion, in Syria, since the be­gin­ning of the pro­tec­tion of civil­ians, in or­der to change the bal­ance of forces on the ground to re­solve the Syr­ian cri­sis, he re­marked, adding that this cri­sis will end, pro­vided that there are no more of Bashar al-As­sad, ei­ther through po­lit­i­cal process or by force.”

Obama and the deputy crown prince talked about the im­por­tance of sup­port­ing a po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tion away from Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad, the White House said. The United States is work­ing with in­ter­na­tional part­ners on what it calls a Syr­ian-led tran­si­tion process fa­cil­i­tated by the United Na­tions, but so far there has been lit­tle progress.

Obama wel­comed Saudi Ara­bia’s com­mit­ment to a po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment of the Ye­men con­flict and sup­port by the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil, of which the king­dom is a mem­ber, to ad­dress hu­man­i­tar­ian needs and re­build the coun­try, the White House said.

US of­fi­cials have ex­pressed un­ease about the Saudiled cam­paign against Houthi rebels in Ye­men, which ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions and hu­man rights groups has re­sulted in large numbers of civil­ian ca­su­al­ties.

Al-Jubeir said that the coali­tion led by Saudi Ara­bia is mak­ing ev­ery ef­fort to re­duce losses and reaf­firmed that the United Arab Emi­rates re­mains a key state in the al­liance for the restora­tion of le­git­i­macy in Ye­men. ”We want a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion in Ye­men that would lead to the launch of a transitional phase fol­lowed by the re­con­struc­tion phase,” he said.

Al-Jubeir re­it­er­ated the king­dom’s po­si­tion that Iran was try­ing to desta­bi­lize the re­gion. “Iran is in­ter­fer­ing in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of neigh­bor­ing coun­tries and ex­port ter­ror­ism to them,” he said, adding that “there is no change in the po­si­tion of Saudi Ara­bia to­wards Tehran.”

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