Saudi Arabia lauds Russian withdrawal from Syria

March 16, 2016 14:46

RIYADH - Russia's partial withdrawal of forces from Syria is "a very positive step," Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Riyadh on Wednesday, adding he hoped it would compel President Bashar Assad to make concession.

"It is our hope that it will contribute to an acceleration of the political process based on the Geneva 1 declaration and that it will compel the Assad regime to make the concessions necessary to bring about a political transition," he said.

Asked about oil market speculation of a "grand bargain" involving Saudi energy policy and Russia's foreign policy, he said: "As far as I know, and I believe I am in a position to know, there is no such thing."

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