Armenia FM meets Assad in Syria in 'earthquake PR boost'

Armenia FM meets Assad in Syria in 'earthquake PR boost'
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan met with Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday to express his "condolences" following 6 February's devastating earthquakes.
2 min read
23 February, 2023
Armenian foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday [Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan met Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus on Thursday, as the Syrian regime seeks to end its international isolation following 6 February's devastating earthquakes. 

Mirzoyan expressed his "condolences and support" for Syrians following the earthquakes, which killed tens of thousands in Turkey and Syria, according to the Syrian regime's news website SANA

An Armenian relief plane arrived in Damascus shortly before the minister's visit, carrying 26 tonnes of relief assistance, according to SANA

It follows visits by UAE and Jordan officials, sparking concerns that several countries could be on the verge of normalising or improving relations with the Assad regime.

Assad has been accused of using the earthquake for political gain. His regime has long faced accusations that it is stealing foreign aid.

It comes after hundreds of thousands of Syrians were killed and the country decimated via the regime's shelling and bombing of opposition-held towns and cities during Syria's 12-year war.  

Assad has sought to drum up support to lift Western sanctions on his regime in the earthquake's aftermath. 

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In addition to visits to Damascus by high-ranking UAE and Jordanian officials, Assad visited Oman this week, a year after he paid a visit to the UAE.

Armenia has maintained diplomatic relations with the Assad regime throughout the Syrian conflict. In 2014, then Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan even congratulated Assad on his "re-election" in a ballot condemned as fraudulent by most of the international community, wishing him "good health and successes".