On April 13, Saudi Arabia and Syria announced that they had begun procedures to reopen embassies and resume direct flight.
The announcement followed a breakthrough visit by Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad to the kingdom, the first since Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations with Syria in 2012.
A joint statement said that the two sides held a session of talks, discussing efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis that preserves Syria’s unity, security, stability, Arab identity, and territorial integrity while also serving the interests of its people.
“The two sides stressed the importance of enhancing security and combating terrorism in all its forms, and enhancing cooperation in combating drug smuggling and trafficking, emphasizing the need to support the institutions of the Syrian state to extend its control over its territories to end the presence of armed militias and external interference in the Syrian internal affairs,” the statement reads.
Both sides also discussed, according to the statement, the necessary steps to achieve a comprehensive political settlement of the Syrian crisis that would end all its repercussions, achieve national reconciliation, and contribute to the return of Syria to its Arab fold.
Saudi Arabia is hosting the next Arab League summit in May. Syria’s membership in the organization was suspended in the first year of the war. However, the kingdom is now making efforts to reverse the decision.
The Gulf Cooperation Council, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, has called for a meeting on the level of foreign ministers to discuss Syria’s return to the league. The meeting, which will also be attended by the foreign ministers of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, will be held in Jeddah on April 14.
The Syrian foreign minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia came after Syria announced it will reopen its embassy in Tunisia, which also cut off relations in 2012.
Tunisian President Kais Saied announced earlier this month that he had directed the country’s foreign ministry to appoint a new ambassador to Syria. His decision was reciprocated by the Syrian government, according to a joint statement from the two countries’ foreign ministries that was released on April 12.
Syria appears to be on its way to reclaim its role in the Arab World. The attempts to isolate the war-torn country by the United States and the European Union have clearly failed.