Reuters reports: Russia and Saudi Arabia failed in talks on Tuesday to overcome their differences on the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a central dispute in Syria’s civil war that shows no sign of abating despite renewed diplomacy.
Russia is pushing for a coalition to fight Islamic State insurgents — who have seized swathes of northern and eastern Syria — that would involve Assad, a longtime ally of Moscow. But, speaking after talks in Moscow, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir reiterated Riyadh’s stance that Assad must go.
“A key reason behind the emergence of Islamic State was the actions of Assad who directed his arms at his nation, not Islamic State,” Jubeir told a news conference after talks with Russia’s Sergei Lavrov.
“Assad is part of the problem, not part of the solution to the Syrian crisis… There is no place for Assad in the future of Syria,” he said. [Continue reading…]