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FM Al-Jubeir: Keeping an Eye on the Syrian Field, KSA Interested in “Plan B” - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Saudi FM al-Jubeir and the Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen at the press conference in Riyadh, Feb29

Saudi FM al-Jubeir and the Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen at the press conference in Riyadh, Feb29

Riyadh- Saudi Arabian Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir clarified that Riyadh has been keeping a close eye on field status in Syria, after the occurrence of violations against the humanitarian truce. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue the consultations with the Syria Support Group in Vienna, in order to define the Russian and Syrian regime’s intentions on finding a political solution to end the Syrian crisis. Saudi Arabia will also look into U.S. State Secretary John Kerry’s revealed “Plan B.”

FM al-Jubeir addressed reporters in Riyadh during a press conference with the visiting Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen. During the press conference, al-Jubeir pointed out the dispute regarding Russian interference in Syria, saying that despite Moscow confirming that its military campaign targets ISIS and al-Nusra Front, the global community fails to see it that way. The Russian campaign targets the moderate Syrian Opposition.

U.N. special envy Staffan de Mistura was “in contact with the Russians and the Syrian regime on this matter to reach an agreement that would limit or end military operations against the moderate Syrian opposition and focus instead on Daesh and Al-Nusra,” Al-Jubeir said.

FM al-Jubeir confirmed that coordination remains a hassle. However, there are understandings and discussions on the subject, and the picture will remain clear on whether the Syrian regime and the Russians are serious about the ceasefire or not. He also pointed out the violations against the established humanitarian truce. Both the Russian and the Syrian regime air forces violated the ceasefire terms.

Al-Jubeir added that it is critical for the Syrian administration to commit to the outcome of the “Geneva 1” Syrian peace talks. The Geneva 1 resolved that a peaceful solution for Syria included the establishment of a transitional authority and a new constitution, in which current President Bashar al-Assad played no role.

Should the truce fail, countries supporting the Syrian opposition have an “alternative” that does not include Assad, he further added referring to US State Secretary John Kerry’s comments on Tuesday about a “Plan B.”

Solution in Syria will not include Assad, no dispute or compromise exists on that topic, FM al-Jubeir said. Assad will step down from authority either peacefully, which is a preferable and quicker process, or ultimately by force. It is up to President Assad to decide on that matter himself, he added.

Al- Jubeir confirmed that it will be the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS deciding on whether Saudi Arabia will be sending ground troops into Syria. Should the coalition decide positively on a Saudi Arabian troop intervention in Syria, the Kingdom is fully prepared to participate, al- Jubeir said. Riyadh will not be taking action on its own.

However, al-Jubeir stressed on the fact the decision on a Saudi Arabia sending ground troops to Syria has yet not been decided.