Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the window of opportunity for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem “cannot by definition remain open indefinitely.”
Kerry who is in Saudi Arabia for talks with Saudi and Gulf Arab officials added that “there is time to resolve this issue providing the Iranians are prepared to engage seriously” on proposals to defuse it.
“But talks will not go on for the sake of talks and talks cannot become an instrument for delay that will make the situation more dangerous,” he said. Kerry said he and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal “discussed our shared determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Al-Faisal said that in the talks here Monday, “The Kingdom stressed the importance of enabling the Syrian people to exercise its legitimate right to defend itself against the regime’s killing regime.”
“Saudi Arabia will do everything within its capacity, and we do believe that what is happening in Syria is a slaughter,” he said, “… and we can’t bring ourselves to remain quiet. Morally we have a duty.” The Saudi Foreign Minister Added.
The U.S. Secretary of State, who flew in to the Saudi capital late on Sunday after a two-day trip to Cairo, kicked off with an early morning meeting with the foreign ministers of Bahrain and Kuwait.
A US State Department official told reporters that Kerry would also hold talks in Riyadh with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, with a lunch meeting planned.
The GCC ministers met among themselves on Sunday and issued a joint statement pledging their support for a negotiated settlement in Syria based on an offer of talks by Syrian opposition chief Moaz Alkhatib.