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Saudi Arabia Reiterates its ‘Firm’ Stance on Syrian Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs a cabinet session in Jeddah on August 8. (SPA)

Jeddah – The Saudi Arabian government stressed on Monday its “firm stance” on resolving the Syrian crisis that has raged on for over six years, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The cabinet said after meeting that the solution to the conflict should be based on the Geneva I talks and United Nations Security Council resolution 2254, which calls for the formation of a transition body that would administer state affairs, draft a new constitution and prepare for elections.

The elections would pave the way for a Syria that “does not have room for Bashar Assad.”

The cabinet session was held at the Salam Palace in Jeddah and chaired by Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh also voiced its support for the High Negotiations Committee and efforts to expand its ranks and unite the Syrian opposition.

Addressing the Hajj pilgrimage, Prince Mohammed, on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, welcomed the pilgrims to the Kingdom as they began arriving to perform the annual rituals, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Prince Mohammed directed, on behalf of the King, all government and civil authorities to exert all possible efforts to facilitate the pilgrims’ performance of the Hajj. He also expressed King Salman’s keenness to develop the services provided to the pilgrims and to improve them year after year, said SPA.

The cabinet then turned to King Salman’s talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at the monarch’s residence in Tangiers in Morocco. They also discussed his recent talks with Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Guinea President Alpha Conde, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdul Qader al-Msahel, deputy Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah and his telephone call with newly-appointed Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

Following the government meeting, Information Minister Dr. Awadh bin Saleh al-Awadh told SPA that the gatherers tackled latest regional developments, asserting that Iranian authorities are stalling in completing the investigation into the 2016 attacks against the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad.

He accused them of adopting the policies of the Iranian government and disrespecting international treaties and laws and violating diplomatic missions. This is a policy that it has been adopting for nearly four decades, he declared.

The minister also voiced the Kingdom’s condemnation of the terrorist attack that targeted the Iraqi embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul and the suicide bombing in Bakhrabad in west of the country.

He expressed Saudi Arabia’s solidarity with each of Iraq and Afghanistan and their efforts in combating terrorism and extremism in all of their forms.

On the internal scene, Awadh said that the cabinet hailed King Salman’s unveiling of the Red Sea tourist and recreation project, saying that it will create a new pioneering tourist destination in the country. It will create a qualitative leap in the concept of tourism and hospitality, he noted, while remarking that tourism is one of the most important economic sectors of Vision 2030.