Syria and Saudi Arabia ready to re-establish full diplomatic relations, Arab media reveal
The Syrian conflict, after more than ten years from its beginning, could have come to a turning point. Indeed, local media revealed the arrival of a Saudi delegation in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in preparation for the restoration of official diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Syria of Bashar al-Assad.
The “Rai Al-Youm” newspaper quoted Syrian diplomatic sources who said that a Saudi delegation led by the kingdom’s intelligence chief, General Khaled Al-Humaidan, visited Damascus on Monday. The newspaper pointed out that Al-Humaidan met with the Syrian president, Bashar Al-Assad, and the Syrian vice president for security affairs, General Ali Al-Mamlouk.
The two sides agreed, according to diplomatic sources, that there would be a long visit for the Saudi delegation after Eid al-Fitr, next week. The Saudi delegation has agreed with Syrian officials to restore diplomatic relations and reopen the Saudi embassy in Damascus, as a first step to restore relations in various fields for the benefit of the two countries.
The same diplomatic sources specified that the Saudi delegation informed Syrian officials that the Kingdom welcomes Syria’s return to the Arab League and its participation in the upcoming summit in Algeria. The sources indicated that these talks were fruitful and broke the ice that had dominated relations between the two countries.There has been no official Saudi or Syrian statement confirming or denying this visit.
The well-known columnist Abdel-Bari Atwan confirmed these reports in statements to the Lebanese channel Al-Jadid, indicating that the Saudi embassy in Damascus could be officially opened after Eid Al-Fitr, and the Arab Kingdom delegation could be led by the minister of Foreign Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
In his statements, Atwan attributed the turning point in Saudi-Syrian relations to the Saudi-Iranian secret meeting in Iraq, which brought the two sides closer and paved the way for the return of Saudi-Syrian relations.
It is worth noting that Syria’s accession to the Arab League was suspended by a decision of the Arab foreign ministers at the League headquarters in Cairo on 12 November 2011, the withdrawal of Arab ambassadors from Damascus, and the suspension of the participation of delegations at the meetings of the Arab League Council and all affiliated organizations following the crisis in Syria.