Saudi Rejects Russian Calls to Work with Assad Against IS

Saudi Arabia said that it would never work with President Assad, as Russian calls to join forces with Syria against Islamic State.

Published: 11th August 2015 09:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2015 09:25 PM   |  A+A-


MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia's foreign minister today poured cold water on Russian calls to join forces with the Syrian authorities against Islamic State jihadists, insisting it would never work with President Bashar al-Assad. One of Assad's few remaining allies -- has called for coordination between the Syrian government and members of an international coalition fighting the extremist group, which controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

But Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir insisted there would be no cooperation with the Syrian regime after meeting Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. "As for a coalition in which Saudi Arabia would participate with the government of Syria, then we need to exclude that. It is not part of our plans," Jubeir said in comments translated into Russian.

"Our position has not changed... there is no place for Assad in the future of Syria," Jubeir said. "We think that Bashar al-Assad is part of the problem, not part of the solution."

Saudi Arabia is part of a US-led coalition that began an air campaign against IS in Syria last September. Russia supports Assad while Saudi Arabia insists he must step down to help end a four-year conflict that has cost over 240,000 lives.

The two ministers last met in Qatar on August 3 when Lavrov, Jubeir and US Secretary of State John Kerry held a three-way meeting, with Syria topping the agenda. Lavrov said Moscow was not looking to establish a formal alliance against the radical group but warned a failure to cooperate could open the door to extremists.

Russia wanted "all those who are already fighting terrorists to somehow coordinate so that they focus on their main task -- to fight the threat of terrorism," Lavrov said. He admitted that there remained "persistent differences" between Riyadh and Moscow over how to tackle the Syrian conflict.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp