US and Saudi officials met in Riyadh to discuss their mutual support for the Syrian opposition forces in Idlib, American officials said in a tweet.
The embassy made the announcement on Twitter saying: “We just finished a productive meeting with our Saudi partners. We discussed the U.S.-#Saudi Arabia partnership and close cooperation in support of the Syrian opposition and in support of a political solution to the Syrian conflict as envisioned in UNSCR 2254.”
Special Envoy for #Syria Joel Rayburn met with Saudi partners re: Syria, especially the Assad, Russian & IRGC assault on #Idlib. He praised Saudi-U.S. partnership in support of the Syrian opposition and in support of a political solution per UNSCR2254. @USEmbassySyria pic.twitter.com/Ygdogs7KrX
— U.S. Embassy Riyadh (@USAinKSA) February 27, 2020
The US mission in Saudi Arabia confirmed the embassy’s tweet, saying that Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn has met with Saudi partners to discuss the Syrian file, especially the regime, Russian and Iranian assault on Idlib.
“He praised Saudi-U.S. partnership in support of the Syrian opposition and in support of a political solution per UNSCR2254,” the Twitter added.
The US embassy’s announcement came as a “surprise” to observers especially that Saudi Arabia has been strongly critical of Turkey which supports the Syrian opposition; accusing it of interfering in Arab affairs and working to expand its influence in Syria, Libya and other regions of the Arab world.
Moreover, there have been indications of rapprochement between Damascus and Riyadh. A delegation from the Syrian Journalists Union has been recently invited to visit Riyadh while the Syrian UN envoy was invited to a reception held by the Saudi mission to the United Nations.
There has been no official Saudi comment on the US announcement.