Egypt-Syria Ties: Why Cairo Decided to Clarify Position on Damascus Now?

Mekdad's visit falls within the framework of the Arab-Syrian rapprochement, Athr Press says.

On Saturday, the Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Mekdad, made his first visit to Syria since the beginning of the war. This visit comes about a month after the visit of Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, to Damascus.

Press reports have leaked that during the visit, Mekdad and Shukri held a closed meeting that could lead to positive developments. These include a potential meeting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as well as Syria’s reinstatement in the Arab League, among other possibilities.

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In general, this visit falls within the framework of the Arab-Syrian rapprochement and the change in the policies of Arab countries towards Syria. 

Dr. Tarek Fahmy, a political science professor at Cairo University, emphasized the significance of Faisal Mekdad’s visit to Cairo in an interview with Athar. He stated that the visit is a crucial development that builds upon the recent efforts made by Egypt and Syria, including President Sisi’s communication with President Assad and the visit of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Damascus.  

Dr. Tarek Fahmy noted that the American side had expressed reservations regarding the Arab movement towards Syria, including that of Egypt. He anticipates potential disagreements in this regard, but he also believes that Egypt will adjust its position following recent developments and its efforts to engage with Turkey and expand its influence in the Mediterranean region. Despite US reservations, Dr. Fahmy suggests that Russian support could help improve relations between Syria and Egypt.  

It is worth noting that although the war in Syria was ongoing, the relations between Syria and Egypt remained intact, and the two countries’ embassies were never closed. However, Cairo maintained a relatively neutral stance toward the conflict. Official meetings and contacts resumed in 2021 when the Syrian and Egyptian foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.  

The Wall Street Journal reported that unnamed sources have confirmed that Syria and Egypt are discussing restoring diplomatic relations. The article suggests that President Bashar al-Assad may meet with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, before the end of this month. However, the date and location of the meeting have not yet been confirmed.

According to the Emirati newspaper, Al-Bayan, an unnamed Egyptian security source stated that the purpose of the visit is to initiate steps toward Syria’s return to the Arab League with the mediation of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The source noted that several important regional powers, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have recently sent messages indicating greater openness towards Damascus.


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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