Saudi Gazette report
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Friday received a telephone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations with special emphasis on the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
The Kremlin said President Putin and King Salman “expressed interest in settling the Syrian crisis and ensuring stability and security in the entire region of the Middle East and North Africa.” Putin also reaffirmed his invitation for King Salman to visit Russia at a time that would be convenient for him.
On Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said any participation by Saudi forces in a US-led ground operation in Syria would focus on fighting the Daesh (the so-called IS) group not President Bashar Al-Assad.
“Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to send special forces to Syria as part of the coalition, with the goal of eliminating Daesh. This is the mission and the responsibility,” Al-Jubeir said.
Riyadh has been a fierce opponent of Assad, but Jubeir said any participating Saudi force would make the battle against Daesh a priority.
“For now the objective of any ground forces or special forces would be to fight Daesh on the ground in order to seize territory from them,” he said.
“If they enter Syria, these forces will work in the framework of the international coalition to fight Daesh, there will be no unilateral operations,” he said. — Agencies