No rift with Saudi over Syrian crisis: US Dept of State

Although reports over the last few months suggested that Saudi Arabia was not too happy with the role that US assumed vis-à-vis the conflict in Syria, the US Department of State has clarified that the US was in no dispute with its old ally Saudi and that all was running smooth between the two countries. Also, the US and Saudi would both be continuing to fight terrorism, asserted the US.

saudi prince kerry visitMohammed bin Salman, the Deputy Crown Prince also serving as the Minister for Defence of Saudi Arabia, arrived in the US on Monday last and was received by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry. This visit on the part of Prince Mohammed would be understood and interpreted on the background of the strain in the relations between the two countries in the past few days. John Kirby, spokesperson of the US Department of State, has informed however, that the meeting between John Kerry, the US Secretary of State and Prince Mohammad happened in a very amicable atmosphere.

Kirby refuted claims that there was a strain in the relations between the US and Saudi. “There is no philosophical divide between the two nations on the Syrian crisis.” Kirby said. “In fact, Saudi Arabia was one of the first to join the ‘International Syria Support Group’ formed by the US and Russia”, he  recalled adding also that it was owing to the initiative taken by Saudi that talks with the opposition in Syria had been possible.

The US Department of State informed that Kerry and Prince Mohammad discussed the issue of combating terrorism. Kirby also stated that the two agreed on jointly fighting terrorism in Yemen and in Libya as much as in Syria and at the local and the international levels at that. The Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir accompanied Prince Mohammad on this visit to the US.

Prince Mohammad was later scheduled to meet with President Obama and the US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter. It is believed that the leaders of both sides were to discuss the Syrian conflict.

The US has, over the last few weeks, stepped into the war against terrorism in Syria and has launched several attacks on IS bases. Besides, the US together with the Kurdish rebels, has set about reclaiming regions of Northern Syria captured by the IS, a move that had irked Turkey. The Turkish President Erdogan had voiced his disapproval of the change in the stance now exhibited by the US that was keen on ousting Assad from power only a year ago. Saudi too was reportedly annoyed with this policy adopted by the US and this was allegedly the reason leading to strain in the relations between the two countries.   

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