Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said Tuesday that Saudi Arabia’s decision to send ground troops is a solo decision and has nothing to do with the Islamic counter-terrorism force.
In a press conference with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Shoukry said the Saudi decision aligns with its own policy, whereas Egypt is supportive of a political resolution to the conflict in Syria.
He added that Egypt supports the efforts of UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to reach an agreement on a political process in Syria.
“Egypt participated in supporting Syria since the start of the crisis to help the Syrian people and stop the assault on them,” Shoukry said.
He added that de Mistura is discussing ways to restore the peace talks with the Syrian regime, noting that “Egypt supports this”.
Earlier this week, Shoukry said the military option will not result in any solutions in or for Syria.
When asked whether Egypt supports the Saudi suggestion to send ground troops to Syria, in an interview with Deutsche Welle TV, Shoukry said the best way to achieve stability and unity in Syria would be to work through the UN and its envoy to reach an agreement.
Earlier in February, Saudi Arabia said it is prepared to participate in a ground operation against “Islamic State” (IS) in Syria, led by the US. This was welcomed by the US, although the launch of such operations was not yet decided. Bahrain said it is also ready to join in such an operation.
Head of the Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC) Ahmed Youssef Ahmed told Daily News Egypt that both Egypt and Saudi Arabia agree on several points regarding the Syrian issue, but ultimately they have different perspectives on the situation.
“Saudi Arabia has a strong stance to support the Syrian opposition, while Egypt perhaps has another point of view on those groups,” Youssef said.
He further highlighted that Egypt is eager to maintain the cohesion of the Syrian state.
“Saudi Arabia wants the immediate ousting of Bashar Al-Assad, and this may be difficult now and may affect that state itself, while Egypt supports a political process that safeguards state institutions,” he said.
Youssef moreover said that Saudi intervention in Syria is unlikely, as it is dependent on the participation of US troops.