By Mina Ibrahim
A press conference was organised Sunday between the Egyptian and the Saudi Foreign Ministers at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo, following a private meeting between them.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the meeting included talks about the current disturbances in Arab countries, particularly in Palestine, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
Shoukry added that an agreement with the Saudi Foreign Minister was made that regular meetings would be organised between them every three or four months to discuss latest issues related to the security of the Arab region.
“We do not want any foreign, non-Arab intervention in our conflicts,” added Shoukry.
Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir declared that Saudi-Egyptian relations are always close, and that there is coordination and cooperation regarding different issues.
The two ministers were asked if there are differences between the foreign policies of both countries regarding the Syrian case, and if there are mechanisms to reconcile these differences.
Shoukry denied the presence any contradiction between both countries, stressing that Egypt’s policies are consistent with its Saudi counterpart.
Al-Jubeir commented on the question by saying that the Saudi solution for the Syrian conflict has remained unchanged from the beginning.
“Our solution is clear. We do not see a future for Syria with Bashar Al-Assad. We want a unified Syrian country that includes all sects. We also refuse any foreign intervention in Syria,” Al-Jubeir said.
However, the foreign policies of both countries appear to be at odds with respect to the Syrian case specifically.
In recent months, Egypt has taken a firmer stance on a position calling for a political solution; one that appears to include the maintenance of the Al-Assad regime. On more than one occasion, in recent months, Egyptian officials have met with Syrian government delegations for talks, including regarding responses to terrorism.
“Russia’s entrance, given its potential and capabilities, is something we see is going to have an effect on limiting terrorism in Syria and eradicating it,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said earlier this month.
However, Saudi Arabia, a long-time rival of Syria, has been pushing for the removal of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, through significant funding and arming of rebel groups during the four-year conflict.
Moreover, not long before the beginning of Russian strikes, Al-Jubeir repeatedly announced that there is no future for Syria with Bashar Al-Assad.