Sochi, Russia, 28 Dzulhijjah 1436/12 October 2015 (MINA) – Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Sunday to discuss steps to establish a peace process in war-torn Syria.
The deputy crown prince voiced Saudi Arabia’s keen interest in realizing the peaceful aspirations of the Syrian people and reiterated its support to solve the Syrian crisis in accordance with the resolutions of the Geneva 1 conference.
Speaking after the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both countries were willing to cooperate in Syria and wanted to prevent the formation of a “terrorist caliphate”.
“On both sides, as far as I can tell, there is an understanding that today’s meeting can advance our cooperation,” Lavrov said, Arab News quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Lavrov acknowledged that Saudi Arabia had “concerns” about Russia’s aims but said it was targeting only extremists, including Daesh and Jabhat Al-Nusra, a group linked to Al-Qaeda.
“We expressed our concerns that these operations could be regarded as an alliance between Iran and Russia,” said Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.
“But in the conversation, our Russian friends explained to us that the main aim is the fight with Daesh and terrorism,” he added.
Al-Jubeir, who appeared alongside Lavrov, said Riyadh is concerned over military operations in Syria and that Riyadh wants to find common grounds with Russia to guard unity of Syria.
Al-Jubeir said the Kingdom would increase cooperation with Russia to fight “terrorism.” (T/P001/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)