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Saudi, Syrian intelligence chiefs meet in Cairo

King of Jordan Abdullah II in Amman, Jordan on 8 June 2021 [JORDANIAN ROYAL COUNCIL/Anadolu Agency]
King of Jordan Abdullah II in Amman, Jordan on 8 June 2021 [JORDANIAN ROYAL COUNCIL/Anadolu Agency]

The directors of Saudi Arabia's and Syria's intelligence agencies are reported to have met in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, signalling greater cooperation between the two.

According to Egyptian media yesterday, the head of the Syrian regime's General Intelligence Directorate, Husam Muhammad Louka, met with the director of Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency, Khalid Al-Humaidan, on the side-lines of the Arab Intelligence Forum, which was launched last week.

The meeting between Louka and Humaidan is the first public meeting between the two intelligence heads in a decade since the launch of the Syrian revolution, when the international community ostracised the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad due to its brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors.

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Humaidan did, however, visit Damascus in May this year as part of talks to re-open its embassy and met another senior Syrian intelligence chief, Ali Mamlouk.

Such meetings between figures from the Saudi and Syrian intelligence agencies comes at a time of increasing normalisation of Assad's regime by surrounding Arab states, with Jordan having reopened its border crossing with Syria and King Abdullah II having talked with Assad by phone, and with the United Arab Emirates's (UAE) foreign minister has met with Assad a week ago.

Although Riyadh has not yet moved to normalise ties with Damascus, incidences such as this meeting between Humaidan and Louka signal that it may also potentially do so soon. Earlier this year, the Kingdom reiterated its stance that a political solution is the only way to solve the Syrian conflict.

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AfricaEgyptMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaSyria
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