Saudi, Russian FMs "to work together" on Syria
Russia's FM Sergei Lavrov met with his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud bin Faisal Saturday in Jeddah (SPA/AFP)
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Saudi's Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal said that his Russian counterpart is ready to support a peaceful transition in Syria Saturday, according to Agence France Presse.
Russia's FM Sergei Lavrov met with the Saudi FM in Jeddah Saturday to discuss the developing situation in Iraq as well as the ongoing conflict in Syria.
A Saudi spokesman for Al Faisal told AFP that Lavrov has agreed with Riyadh "to work together to apply the Geneva I agreement that provides for a peaceful transfer of power in Syria."
Both ministers also were "[keen to] preserve the independence and territorial integrity of Syria," according to the spokesman.
According to reports Friday, discussing Syria was of top priority to both ministers.
While Moscow and Riyadh's allegiances in Syria have been divided, with Russia backing Assad and KSA supporting the rebels, both officials agreed Saturday the importance of "combating terrorist organisations that have exploited the crisis to find safe haven on Syrian territory."
Faisal and Lavrov also discussed the developing violence in Iraq and the growing power of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). The two officials called for increased efforts to "maintain the integrity of Iraq and the unity of all the components of the Iraqi people, who should benefit from equality of rights and duties."
However, Faisal was keen to note that the latter "[would be difficult to achieve] without the formation of a national unity government representing all Iraqis without discrimination or exclusion."
KSA has publicly accused Iraq's current Shiite leadership, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, for exacerbating sectarian tensions in Iraq by marginalizing the Sunni Arab minority.
"Any foreign intervention at this stage would only exacerbate the crisis and deepen sectarian resentment," the Saudi spokesman said.
Following the meeting, there was no clear indication if either Moscow or Riyadh would pursue any new action in terms of Syria or Iraq following the Jeddah meeting Saturday.
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