The Foreign Minister of Oman has called Syria “a cornerstone of joint Arab action”, further signalling the Arab world’s increasing acceptance of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime after a decade of ongoing conflict.
In an official visit to Damascus yesterday, Badr bin Hamad Al-Busaidi, expressed to President Assad and regime officials his pleasure of being “in sisterly Syria, which is a cornerstone of joint Arab action … We look forward to holding discussions and consultations with the brothers in Syria on our common issues and concerns that always aim at goodness, reunification, cooperation and solidarity between brothers.”
Al-Busaidi added that “All the Arab brothers always look forward to meeting with Syria and the return of Arab cohesion to its normal status. Therefore, all our endeavours, myself and others from the Arab brothers, are directed towards this field.”
Echoing the pan-Arab sentiment, Assad stated that “What we lack, as Arabs, is to lay the foundations for the methodology of political relations and to hold objective dialogues based on the interests of the people.”
Syrian Foreign Minister, Faisal Al-Mekdad, also praised Oman’s openness to the Syrian regime in recent years, saying “the Sultanate has stood by Syria in its war against terrorism”.
At the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011 and the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protests, many countries in the international community and in the Arab world cut ties with Damascus and condemned its actions. Oman was not one of those states, however, and was amongst the few to have maintained diplomatic ties with Syria. Muscat then reappointed its envoy to Damascus in 2020, further cementing that relationship.
As the Syrian opposition groups were pushed further north and Assad regained control of much of his former territory with the help of Russia and Iran, other Arab states have also restored their ties with the regime, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which re-established its embassy in Damascus in 2018.
Oman has also advocated for the return of Syria to the Arab League, and it continued with that drive when its Foreign Minister met with his Egyptian counterpart last week and discussed Cairo’s initiative to facilitate that return.