Saudi Arabia renews offer to deploy troops to Syria

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir reaffirmed on Tuesday (April 17th) the kingdom's willingness to deploy troops to Syria as part of US-led efforts to stabilise the country, AFP reported.

"We are in discussions with the US and have been since the beginning of the Syrian crisis (in 2011) about sending forces into Syria," al-Jubeir said at a press conference in Riyadh with UN chief Antonio Guterres.

The comments were in response to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday that US President Donald Trump's administration was seeking to assemble an Arab force, including troops from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to replace a US military contingent in Syria.

Al-Jubeir emphasised that the proposal to send its troops as part of a broader international coalition was "not new".

"We made a proposal to the Obama administration that if the US were to send forces... then Saudi Arabia would consider along with other countries sending forces as part of this contingent," he said.

Before the weekend's Western strikes, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had indicated that the kingdom would back an international military action in Syria.

Guterres, who also met Saudi King Salman on Tuesday, emphasised the need for a political solution in Syria, free of foreign interference.

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