Saudi Deputy FM: Saudi to Cooperate with Russia on Syria Crisis

Saudi Deputy FM: Saudi to Cooperate with Russia on Syria Crisis
Sat Sep 19, 2015 14:31:13

Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer Al Saud announced that Saudi Arabia will work together with Russia to find a solution for the crisis in Syria and settle the issue of Syrian refugees.

Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer Al Saud made the remarks in a Friday interview with Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, and expressed hope Moscow would play a constructive role in settling the Syrian conflict that has dragged on for over four years.

The Saudi official also noted that Riyadh is prepared to accept more Syrian refugees if necessary.

He claimed that since 2011, the kingdom has allocated $700 million in financial aid to the Syrian refugees, particularly to those living in camps in neighboring Jordan and Lebanon.

The comments come as Riyadh is widely believed to be one of the main supporters of the foreign-backed terrorists who have been wreaking havoc in Syria since March 2011.

The conflict in Syria has reportedly claimed about 250,000 lives so far. It has forced over four million Syrians to take refuge in neighboring countries. More than 7.2 million others have also been displaced within the Arab country, according to the United Nations.

Russia has reportedly sent artillery units and tanks as well as dozens of personnel to Syria in recent days. At least seven giant Russian Antonov An-124 military transport aircraft took off from a base in Russia during the past week to transport equipment to Syria, using Iranian and Iraqi air corridors.

About 200 Russian marines and six Russian howitzers now guard an air base in Syria’s northwestern city of Latakia, according to American intelligence agencies. On Friday, the Pentagon said four Russian fighter jets had arrived in Syria and been stationed at the base.

Also on Friday, the US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu held high-level military talks on the telephone to discuss mechanisms in order to avoid accidental encounters between their forces in Syria.

"The secretary and the minister talked about areas where the United States and Russia's perspectives overlap and areas of divergence," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, "The necessity to coordinate bilateral and multilateral efforts to combat international terrorism was at the center of attention."

Moscow and Washington have major differences over the crisis in Syria. While the Kremlin lends support to Damascus in its fight against Daesh terrorists, the White House seeks a “political transition” without the presence of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; Press TV reported.

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