Bahrain’s Foreign Minister and the Assad regime’s Foreign Minister exchanged a minutes-long conversation after a rare handshake and smiles, which have not occurred for years.
On Sunday, the Saudi channel Al-Arabiya showed a video on its official Facebook page of no more than 30 seconds which showed Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and regime Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, approaching one another, shaking hands and then exchanging embraces and smiles.
The video which was published under the headline, “Rare handshake between Syrian and Bahraini foreign ministers” did not reveal the details of the short exchange.
This rare meeting, the first in many years, took place on Saturday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, where both parties had been delivering speeches.
The Al-Hadath news channel, one of Al-Arabiya’s services, quoted an unnamed Arab sources as saying that “this step comes as part of efforts to restore the Arab role in the Syrian issue” — a comment that was published alongside the video on YouTube.
No immediate comment was available from Bahrain regarding the video, while the Bahraini Foreign Minister said in his country’s speech on Saturday before the UN General Assembly that there was “a need to reach a political solution for the Syrian crisis with active Arab participation and a strong Arab role.”
Arab foreign ministries in November 2011 decided to freeze the regime’s membership to the Arab League due to its practices against the Syrian people after the revolution erupted in March of that year, and Arab countries cut relations with the Assad regime.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.