RIYADH, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said that the Syrian crisis cannot be solved as long as Bashar al-Assad remained in power.
"The solution to the crisis in Syria is for Assad to go," al-Jubeir told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday following the conclusion of the 4th Arab-South American Summit held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The Saudi minister also commented on the situation in Yemen, saying that Saudi Arabia favored a political solution to the conflict in the country.
He praised the willingness of both the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels to attend the upcoming UN-led talks, which are expected to take place in Geneva later this month.
Jubeir also noted the important role played by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in this regard.
More than 5,500 people have been killed in Yemen since March, according to UN figures. The conflict pitted Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh against the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, which was backed by an air campaign launched in March by Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies. Previous attempts at peace talks failed, with Iran-allied Houthis refusing to withdraw from areas they have seized since September last year.
As for Saudi Arabia-Egypt relations, Jubeir ruled out any problems, saying the two countries enjoyed a "historical and wonderful" relationship.