Saudi FM: Assad’s Future Among Sticking Points on Syria Deal

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
October 31, 2015 Updated: October 31, 2015

MANAMA, Bahrain—Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat says the timing of the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the withdrawal of foreign fighters remain the main sticking points to finding a lasting resolution to the war in Syria.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made the comments Saturday at the Manama Dialogue security conference in Bahrain, just hours after leaving high-level talks in Vienna aimed at ending the war in Syria.

He sounded a downbeat tone on the state of the negotiations, saying “We have not been able to reach agreement.” He says the presence of foreign fighters, particularly Iranians, is aggravating the crisis.

He says the oil-rich kingdom’s policy toward Syria has not changed, and that it will continue to support the moderate Syrian opposition.