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The New Arab

Saudi officials 'met Assad in Syria' for talks on restoring ties

Presidential elections will take place in Syria later this month [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 May, 2021

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Saudi Arabia could be on track to restore diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime.
Saudi officials met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Monday for talks on restoring diplomatic relations after a ten-year hiatus, a London-based Arabic news outlet has reported.

Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief led the delegation and plans to return to Damascus after Ramadan, according to Arabic daily Rai Al-Youm.

Saudi Arabia ceased diplomatic ties with Syria and closed its embassy in Damascus in 2012 after the regime brutally suppressed anti-government protests in the country and launched an assault on opposition areas.

Some Gulf states, such as Oman and the UAE, have recently rekindled ties with the Syrian regime.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar were key backers of the Syrian opposition during the ten-year war which has left around 500,000 dead, mostly from regime attacks.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 due to its bloody onslaught on peaceful protests and failure to act on regional and international peace initiatives.

Syrian regime ally, Russia, has led efforts to have Damascus reinstated in the Arab League and have it bolster ties with regional states.

Syrian regime allies, such as Iraq, have also pushed for Damascus to rejoin the pan-Arab body.


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