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Report: Saudi Arabia paves way to restore ties with Syria

January 22, 2020 at 9:11 am

Bashar Al-Jaafari, permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN in New York, US on 14 April 2018 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia wants to restore relations with the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad following years of official boycott after the 2011 revolution, a pro-Syrian regime newspaper reported.

Al-Watan said Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar Al-Jaafari, recently attended a special ceremony held in honour of the Saudi Minister of State, Fahad Bin Abdullah Al Mubarak, in preparation for Riyadh’s presidency of the upcoming G20 Summit.

The paper reported that Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Abdullah Bin Yahya Al-Muallami, officially invited Al-Jaafari to the ceremony.

“During the gathering, the Saudi officials expressed their belief that what has happened between the two countries should pass, stressing on the brotherly relations that have long brought Syria and Saudi Arabia together,” it said.

According to the paper, the Saudi officials told Al-Jaafari that what has happened between the two countries is nothing but a “summer cloud that will inevitably pass”.

READ: Saudi troops deployed to protect Aramco experts at oil field in Syria

In December 2018, the UAE announced that it would be reopening its embassy in Damascus marking another significant diplomatic boost for President Bashar Al-Assad. A foreign ministry statement said the move aimed to normalise ties and to curb risks of regional interference in “Arab, Syrian affairs” – an apparent reference to non-Arab Iran, whose support for Al-Assad has been critical to his war effort.

The following day, Bahrain announced that its embassy in Damascus was fully operational.

In January the following year, the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman resumed flights to Damascus.