The Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, made a historic visit to the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Tuesday. This was the first visit by a high-ranking Saudi minister since 2011, marking the resumption of relations between Saudi Arabia and the Syrian regime after more than a decade of diplomatic estrangement.
During the visit, the Saudi minister and his delegation met with the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad. According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), they discussed the issue of Syria’s return to its Arab surroundings and its “natural” role in the Arab world, with reference to the regime’s return to the Arab League. They also discussed efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis that preserves Syria’s unity, security, stability, Arab identity, and territorial integrity.
The Saudi Foreign Minister stressed to Assad the importance of providing a suitable environment for aid to reach all regions in Syria, creating the necessary conditions for the return of Syrian refugees and displaced persons to their areas, ending their suffering, enabling them to return safely to their homeland, and taking more measures that would contribute to stabilizing the situation throughout the Syrian territories.
The “Presidency of the Syrian Republic” issued a statement about the visit, in which it said that Al-Assad affirmed that the fraternal Arab role is necessary for supporting the Syrian people to overcome all the repercussions of the war in Syria, stabilize the situation and liberate all Syrian lands. He added that sound relations between Syria and the Kingdom are the normal state and reflect an Arab and regional interest.
According to the statement, “Bin Farhan pointed out that the next stage requires that the relationship between Syria and its brothers from the Arab countries return to its proper state, and that Syria’s role in the Arab world and regionally be better than it was before.”
The steps towards normalization between Saudi Arabia and the Assad regime accelerated during the past few days after the Saudi Foreign Ministry announced that it would hold talks with the regime for the first time in a decade to restore diplomatic relations.
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.