Saudi foreign minister: ‘I don’t think World War III is going to happen in Syria’

Der Spiegel reports:
SPIEGEL: Is Saudi Arabia in favor of supplying anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels?

Al-Jubeir: Yes. We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground. It will allow the moderate opposition to be able to neutralize the helicopters and aircraft that are dropping chemicals and have been carpet-bombing them, just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there. This has to be studied very carefully, however, because you don’t want such weapons to fall into the wrong hands.

SPIEGEL: Into the hands of Islamic State.

Al-Jubeir: This is a decision that the international coalition will have to make. This is not Saudi Arabia’s decision.

SPIEGEL: The Russian intervention has had a big impact on the situation in Syria. How would you describe Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Russia at this point?

Al-Jubeir: Other than our disagreement over Syria, I would say our relationship with Russia is very good and we are seeking to broaden and deepen it. Twenty million Russians are Muslims. Like Russia, we have an interest in fighting radicalism and extremism. We both have an interest in stable energy markets. Even the disagreement over Syria is more of a tactical one than a strategic one. We both want a unified Syria that is stable in which all Syrians enjoy equal rights. [Continue reading…]

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