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Assad's advisor: 'Efforts are underway to improve relations with Saudi Arabia'

May 29, 2021 at 11:45 am

Syrian Tourism Minister Mohammed Rami Martini (C) attends a tourism conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on 26 May 2021, despite tense relations between the two countries. [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images]

Media and political advisor to President of the Syrian regime Bashar Al-Assad, Bouthaina Shaaban, has stated that efforts are underway to improve diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia after severed ties for more than a decade.

“Efforts to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Damascus may soon have positive results,” Shaaban told local Sham FM radio.

She commented on the visit to Riyadh this week of the Minister of Tourism of the Syrian regime Muhammad Rami Martini, and pointed out that this “positive step” would not have been possible in previous years.

The Syrian official noted: “It is the first time a Syrian minister visits the kingdom in recent years.”

Martini arrived in Riyadh last Tuesday evening to attend the 47th meeting of the World Tourism Organisation Committee for the Middle East scheduled for 26 and 27 May, reported the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

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Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Damascus have been severed since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011.

The Syrian regime’s relations with a number of Arab countries have been strained, as the membership of the war-torn country to the Arab League has been suspended since 2013, leaving Syria’s seat vacant.

Media reports had previously confirmed that a meeting between Head of Saudi intelligence Khaled Bin Ali Al-Humaidan, Al-Assad and the Director of the National Security Bureau Ali Mamlouk was held on 4 May to discuss restoring diplomatic relations, however, no party has confirmed the news to date.