2015-10-23 14:24:00

Saudi foreign minister sees Russian activity in Syria as interference in interreligious conflict in Middle East

Vienna, October 23, Interfax - Russian activity in Syria is fueling the fire of civil war, which can only end with the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Saudi Foreign Minister Adil al-Ahmad al-Jubayr has told reporters in Vienna.

Al-Jubayr, who had come to Vienna to attend a conference on Syria in the Russia-U.S.-Saudi Arabia-Turkey format, said they deemed Russia's interference in Syria as very dangerous because it was escalating the conflict. He added that Saudi Arabia had explicitly told Russia about that.

He also said that such actions would be regarded as Russian interference in the inter-religious conflict in the Middle East, and Saudi Arabia was concerned that it might cause an emotional response in the Islamic world and enlarge the number of militants going to Syria.

As to whether al-Assad might play any role in the interim Syrian government, al-Jubayr said his role was to leave Syria. The best-case scenario is that people wake up in the morning and Bashar al-Assad is gone, he said.

Al-Assad is a magnet attracting militants from all over the world to fight the regime on the side of the opposition, al-Jubayr said after his meeting with the Austrian foreign minister.

Before the quadripartite conference on Syria began, al-Jubayr participated in tripartite consultations with the foreign policy chiefs of the United States and Turkey.