Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has recognised that there are differences with Saudi Arabia regarding Syria, stating the reason is that each country has "different visions regarding changing of the Syrian leadership," Moheet.com reported on Friday.
Shoukry, making his comments at the annual UN General Assembly meetings in New York, said: "Saudi Arabia adopts a position that focuses on changing the ruling system [of government] or to change the Syrian leadership. Egypt does not adopt this idea."
Shoukry's remarks were widely reported by Egyptian newspapers, noting that he also said: "We estimate that all the developments in the Syrian arena must lead to a new Syria that meets the desires of all…sides."
He avoided giving a direct answer to a question related to the removal of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, saying that "this is a Syrian issue and we do not have to link everything to a certain person and waste our time expecting what would happen if he was removed."
Asked whether the Syrian situation has deteriorated after it had been on the verge of a possible solution following the US-Russian brokered ceasefire that collapsed last Monday, Shoukry said: "Of course, there was a glimpse of hope after the American-Russian understanding to halt all hostilities.
"But the situation on the ground, increasing terror, mergers between terrorists and the opposition such as what happened with Al-Nusra Front [Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham], the targeting of the Syrian army [by US airstrikes] and the targeting of humanitarian aid convoys [by Russia] undermined the understanding and pushed us into a vicious circle."
Saudi Arabia has called for regime change in Syria after it deemed the Assad regime to have committed grave abuses against its own people, a position largely adopted by the US-led coalition and international political alliances such as the Friends of Syria. The Assad regime has been propped up since 2011 by the Iranian government and, increasingly, Russia since Moscow intervened a year ago.