April 26, 2017 / 10:43 AM / 7 months ago

Saudi minister, after Russia talks, says Syria's Assad still has to go

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir discussed Syria’s future with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Wednesday after which he said Riyadh still believed there was no political future for President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his counterpart from Saudi Arabia Adel al-Jubeir attend a news conference after the talks in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Al-Jubeir, after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also told a news conference that Riyadh wanted to end what he called Iran’s meddling in the Middle East.

The Saudi minister gave a positive assessment of Russian-backed Syrian peace talks in Kazakhstan, but said he thought there was no need to widen the list of participants in those talks, which are sponsored by Iran, Turkey and Russia.

Despite well known differences between Moscow and Riyadh over the role of Assad -- Moscow has rejected calls for him to quit and says his future should be decided in elections -- Lavrov said there were no insurmountable differences between the two when it came to finding a solution to the Syria crisis.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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