Syria Official on Relations with Saudi Arabia: A Dear Sister Country

A senior Syrian diplomat has publicly embraced Saudi Arabia as a “sister country,” in a foreign policy volte-face, reports Athr Press.

The Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, described Saudi Arabia as a “dear sister country” in Syria’s first official comment on relations with the Kingdom following reports of a Saudi intelligence delegation’s visit to Damascus.

When asked about a new era between Syria and Saudi Arabia, Ali said, “Syria welcomes any step that improves relations between Arab states.”

He considered that the Saudis are conducting a reconsideration, adding: “We hope it won’t take long, and we appreciate what we’ve heard from senior officials in Saudi Arabia in the media.”

“Syria welcomes any initiative that includes a responsible reconsideration out of concern for its brothers, Saudi Arabia is a dear sister country and Syria welcomes any step that promotes Arab relations,” Ali said.

“Many are reconsidering their position regarding Syria, and that validates Syria’s position… Syria welcomes all initiatives that aim to make their countries safer. And certainly, Syria has an interest in pointing out any nation that has previously adopted incorrect positions when it reconsiders them.” 

Earlier on Wednesday, a Saudi official revealed to the Guardian that a meeting had taken place between Saudi and Syrian intelligence officials in Damascus, amid expectations that relations between the two countries would resume.

The official, who asked not to be named, said Saudi intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Khalid al-Humaidan led the Saudi delegation and met with Syrian Vice President for Security Affairs Major General Ali Mamlouk on Monday, according to the Guardian.

Omar Rahman, a member of the Delegation of the Syrian National Reconciliation Committees, has confirmed the Saudi intelligence delegation’s visit to Damascus is “a first step towards opening the Saudi embassy after Eid al-Fitr, and the resumptions of relations at all levels,” Al-Hurra TV reported.

He added, “the state media has not published anything about this issue — the news was leaked through some pages (websites), including my pages and others.” 

These events coincided with media reports stating that Syria will return to the Arab League shortly if it can resume relations with Arab countries. The first Arab country to do so was the UAE.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author. 

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