Egypt, Saudi stances on Syria crisis different: Cairo

The Egyptian foreign minister says his country’s attitude toward the ongoing deadly conflict in Syria differs from that of Saudi Arabia, which has been supporting militant groups fighting to unseat the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Sameh Shoukry said on Friday that terrorist groups cannot remain in Syria for peace to be achieved in the Arab country.

The Riyadh regime and its allies in the Persian Gulf region, particularly Qatar, have been seeking to topple the Damascus government. On the contrary, Cairo believes that the Syria crisis can only be resolved through political means.

Earlier this week, Shoukry participated at the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting that was held on the sidelines of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

During the event, Shoukry underlined the importance of the resumption of Syria talks and the need to accelerate a comprehensive ceasefire in the violence-wracked state, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Shoukry also stressed that major powers should do more to target terrorist elements and organizations in Syria without discrimination.

Back in February, Saudi Arabia confirmed for the first time that it was planning to deploy ground troops to Syria to allegedly fight the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri made the announcement in an interview with al-Arabiya TV news.

This is while Takfirism, which is the terrorist group’s trademark, is largely influenced by Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia and freely preached by Saudi clerics.

The remarks were followed by similar announcements from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, along with hints that Qatar may also contribute to the incursion symbolically.

Reacting to the Saudi announcement, the top Egyptian diplomat emphasized at that time that it was a solo decision.

He added that Egypt supports UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to reach an agreement on a political process in Syria.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and de Mistura have put the death toll from the Syria conflict at more than 300,000 and over 400,000, respectively.

This is while the UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.