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Saudi Arabia: political solution the only way to solve Syria conflict

The only way to resolve the Syrian conflict is through a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister has said. Prince Faisal Bin Farhan made his comment during a joint ministerial meeting on Syria in Rome yesterday.

“The absence of effective international will to solve the Syrian crisis,” explained Bin Farhan, “contributed to the opportunity for some parties to implement expansionist, sectarian, and demographic projects aimed at changing Syria’s identity, and heralds the prolongation of the Syrian crisis and its regional and international effects.”

The state-backed Saudi Press Agency reported that he stressed the importance of international consensus to stop the suffering of the Syrian people. “It is also important to reach a solution to the border crossings crisis, and to ensure the flow of international aid to those who deserve it.”

Saudi Arabia was one of the regional countries which cut diplomatic ties with Syria following the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011 and the brutal crackdown on peaceful protests by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. The latter also saw Syria’s membership in the Arab League suspended.

With Syrian opposition groups being pushed further north and Assad regaining control of much of his former territory with the help of Russia and Iran, some states in the region have restored their relations with the regime.

The United Arab Emirates, for example, reopened its embassy in Damascus in 2018, and Oman reappointed its envoy to Syria last year. Riyadh’s position on Syria has been complicated, though, as the Kingdom has refrained from restoring ties with Assad, saying that it is too early to do so.

Matters became clearer in May when a Saudi delegation visited Damascus to meet with Assad for plans to reopen the embassy in the Syrian capital. This was followed by a Syrian delegation visiting the Kingdom for the first time in a decade. An advisor to Assad has since confirmed that the two states are making efforts to improve their relations.