Russia Today Arabic reported that Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad would remain in power, according to Tasnim news agency.
The Russian based TV channel quoted an informed source as saying Jubeir has told the delegation of Syrian opposition that Assad would remain in power, noting that removal of Assad from power is not feasible in the beginning of transition of power.
Since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, backed by Western powers including the United States, have been pushing Assad to relinquish power.
In doing so, they have supported various militant groups across the region, leading to the creation of ISIS, the deadliest terrorist group known.
As the foreign-backed conflict grew, Iran and Russia supported the legal government of Bashar al-Assad, warning Washington, Riyadh and other sponsors of militant groups against the consequences of their actions.
In recent months, Iran and Russia along with Turkey have brokered a new peace initiative by holding talks between Syria’s warring parties in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
The Astana peace talks have led to a memorandum of understanding on four de-escalation zones in Syria that sharply reduced fighting in the Arab country.
The U.S., Russia, and Jordan have also agreed to enforce a small-scale ceasefire in southwestern Syria, which took effect last month.