US secretary of state John Kerry held a meeting with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in Riyadh on Sunday to discuss the fragile ceasefire in Syria a few days before peace talks on the Syrian civil war are launched in Vienna.
Kerry is trying to secure the cooperation of Saudi Arabia for the talks that will include Russia.
Saudi Arabia is backing several opposition groups in Syria, and started an initiative to form a unified opposition. The US wants the opposition on board during the Vienna talks.
Kerry discussed with the king and Saudi Arabia’s ministries of defence and interior ways to ensure that the current cessation of fire is better observed and implemented throughout the country.
“On Syria, the secretary provided an update of the situation on the ground following last week’s reaffirmation of the cessation of hostilities,” said a US spokesperson.
The US and Russia will head a meeting this Tuesday for the International Syria Support Group, which includes the Arab League, the EU, Turkey, Iran, and China.
The international community is highly concerned over the spread of terrorism in both Syria and Libya.
In a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, Kerry discussed the prince’s previous counter-terrorism efforts which led to the country’s crackdown on Al-Qaeda.
The US secretary of state will head to Brussels on Wednesday to join a meeting of NATO foreign ministers and discuss challenges facing the region, including developments in Libya.
Western powers are currently supporting the Libyan government of national accord led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.
The two Libyan rival parliaments signed an agreement in Morocco last year backed by the UN to end the conflict in the oil-rich country. Based on this agreement, the Libyan presidential council formed a government of national unity. However, the Tobruk Parliament must vote it in so the government can begin its tasks. Libyan members of parliament have failed to vote for it so far.
Several international reports spoke about the possibility of an international intervention in Libya to stop the spread of the Islamic State militia. However, Al-Sarraj told a British newspaper on Sunday that he does not want any intervention in Libya. “No boots on the ground,” he said.
Al-Sarraj urged the west to train forces in Tripoli and to lift the embargo on the Libyan army, a request that was echoed by Egypt several times.