Kerry, Saudi king discuss peace process in Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry discusses peace process in Syria with monarch of Saudi Arabia King Salman

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in Diriyah Farm, Saudi Arabia, October 24, 2015 Reuters.

Updated Oct 26, 2015

US Secretary of State, John Kerry and King Salman of Saudi Arabia met on Saturday at Diriyah farm outside the Saudi capital of Riyadh, to continue the talks regarding the peace process in Syria.

Kerry met on Friday with the Saudi, Russian and Turkish foreign ministers in Vienna to discuss the situation in Syria and to define strategies to support the so-called "political transition.”

Both Kerry and the Saudi king reiterated their desire for a peace process in Syria without the existence of Syrian regime leader, Bashar al Assad, who said he is ready for fresh elections.

The men both agreed to intensify their support to what they call the moderate Syrian rebels against the Syrian regime. 

“They pledged to continue and intensify support to the moderate Syrian opposition while the political track is being pursued," the State Department later said in a statement.

According to the State Department, Kerry and the Salman also discussed the situation in Palestine, Yemen and Libya.

On Sept. 30, Russia began its bombing campaign in Syria on the side of the Assad regime, targeting mostly Syrian opposition-held territories in the country - rather than ISIS - the move has been strongly protested by Turkey, US, and the NATO alliance.

Turkey, US and Saudi Arabia no longer see Assad as legitimate and back groups opposed to his regime, while Russia has supported the regime since the beginning of the conflict. 

Media reports have stated that little progress had been made on how to resolve the Syrian crisis at the meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

During the Vienna meeting, Kerry refused Russia's proposal to introduce Iranian involvement to the peace process.

Iran has been backing Assad since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011.

More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria since the civil war started between the Assad regime and opposition forces following the Arab Spring movement that swept a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

In addition, 6.7 million are displaced internally, while at least 5 million have fled the country to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

TRTWorld and agencies