Syrian regime ambassador welcomes rekindling ties with 'sisterly' Saudi Arabia

Syrian regime ambassador welcomes rekindling ties with 'sisterly' Saudi Arabia
It follows a meeting between Saudi officials and Assad in Damascus earlier this week.
2 min read
06 May, 2021
Ali Abdul Karim is Syria's first ambassador to Lebanon [AFP/Getty]
The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon has described Saudi Arabia as a "dear, sisterly nation", as the two countries look to reshape ties after years of rivalry.

"Our brothers are reviewing (their policies), which I hope won't take long, and I see this happening through my meetings with a number of diplomats," revealed Ali Abdul Karim after meeting with the Lebanese foreign minister.

A London-based Arabic-language news outlet reported earlier this week that Saudi officials met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Monday for talks on restoring diplomatic relations.

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

"Syria welcomes any initiative… because it is keen on having good ties with its brother. Any step which falls in the joint interest of Arab nations, Syria welcomes it," Abdul Karim reiterated.

He added that the rekindling of ties between Syria and neighbouring Arab states proves his country's "strength, victory and solid position".

Saudi Arabia, alongside Qatar, were key backers of the Syrian opposition during the ten-year war which has left more than 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.

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

Other regional allies, such as Iraq, have also pushed for Damascus to re-join the pan-Arab body.

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