Saudi Arabia for withdrawal of foreign forces from Syria

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir at the EU-Arab League ministerial meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Brussels — Saudi Arabia looks forward to a resolution of the conflict in Syria that preserves its independence and unity and leads to the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said here on Monday.

Speaking at the EU-Arab League ministerial meeting, Jubeir said: “We are discussing the issue of maintaining Syria’s independence and the implementation of UN resolution 2254 with Arab nations.”

UN resolution 2254 highlights the importance of the independence and sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, and underscores the need for a political solution, without which the situation in the country will continue to deteriorate. “Europeans and Arabs face common challenges in combating terrorism and extremism,” Jubeir said.

He also said that immense opportunities exist in both the regions to develop trade and investment.

The 5th European Union-Arab League ministerial meeting called for boosting joint cooperation for the sake of global peace and security.

“It is an intense moment in our relations,” said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.

She stressed that cooperation between Europe and the Arab world was “never so important and never so necessary.”

Mogherini urged Arab-Europe cooperation to solve the Mideast problem and prevent the collapse the two-state solution and also to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

She expressed the hope that all countries would participate in the third international conference on Syria, scheduled for March.

Ahead of the talks, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders said that a political solution to Syria’s internal conflict is needed before “normal relations” can be resumed with Damascus,

“This (Syria’s potential return to the Arab League) is an internal discussion for the Arab League, but I do not think that today we’re in a situation to resume normal relations with Syria ... First of all, a political solution is needed,” the minister told reporters, when asked about Syria’s possible return to the Arab League. — Agencies