Saudi Foreign Minister said on Monday that Syrian President “can hold onto power until a transitional council of opposition and government figures has been set up.”
“We have said that… after the formation of the governing council Bashar al-Assad will have to leave,” Adel al-Jubeir said at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The German minister was on a day-long stop in Saudi Arabia after visiting Iran seeking ways to end the war in Syria.
Germany has taken in 600,000 refugees from Syria and elsewhere since January as Europe grapples with its worst refugee crisis since World War II.
“Whether it’s today, whether it’s a week, whether it’s a month, it’s up to the Syrian people, but from the very beginning it’s clear that Bashar al-Assad has no future in Syria”, Jubeir said.
The governing council was proposed under a United Nations-sponsored Geneva 1 peace initiative in 2012.
The council would run state institutions and pave the way for elections.
Jubeir said the body can be formed while Assad is in office, “but once it’s set up and running, there is no role for him”.
Steinmeier, for his part, said that “in the long term there can be no solution there with Assad.”