Saudi King invites Assad to Arab Summit

Saudi Ambassador to Jordan delivered the invitation during a meeting with President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has invited the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, to participate in the 32nd Regular Session of the Arab League Council Meeting at the Summit Level. The event will take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 19.

The Saudi Ambassador to Jordan, Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairi, delivered the invitation during his meeting with President Bashar Al-Assad in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Ambassador Al-Sudairi conveyed the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, and His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to the Syrian President, and their wishes for security and stability for the government and people of Syria.

During the meeting with Al-Sudairi, the Syrian President stressed that the upcoming summit would enhance joint Arab action to achieve the aspirations of the Arab people.

Assad sent his greetings and appreciation to them and wished further progress and development for the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, the Syrian Foreign Ministry announced the resumption of its diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia following a reciprocal move from the kingdom.

The decision to reopen the diplomatic mission emanates from the deep ties between both countries, their people’s aspirations, and the importance of enhancing bilateral relations between Arab countries to serve the joint Arab work, the Syrian ministry said in a statement.

The move came after Saudi Arabia announced the reopening of its diplomatic mission in Syria earlier on Tuesday, indicating that both countries have normalized relations.

On April 12, the Syrian Foreign Ministry announced that Damascus and Riyadh had agreed to resume consular services and air flights between the two countries after the minister visited Riyadh for the first time since 2011, a prelude to restoring full diplomatic representation on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Arab foreign ministers decided during a meeting in Cairo to re-admit Syria to the Arab League after 12 years of suspension.

The AL council meeting at the ministerial level decided to resume “the participation of delegations of the government of Syria in the meetings of the AL council and all its organizations and bodies as of May 7, 2023,” read the statement issued by the pan-Arab organization.

The Arab foreign ministers also agreed on the necessity to intensify efforts “to help Syria out of its crisis.”

They renewed their commitment to “preserving Syria’s sovereignty, territorial unity, stability, and regional integrity based on the AL charter and its principles,” according to the statement.

The foreign ministers also agreed to form a committee comprising Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, and the AL secretary-general to continue “direct dialogue with the Syrian government to reach a comprehensive solution to the Syrian crisis.”

Restoring Syria’s membership at the AL was the focus of last week’s meeting between the foreign ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, and Syria in Jordan’s capital of Amman.

The talks in Amman were part of an initiative led by Jordan for an Arab normalization with Syria whose AL membership was suspended in 2011.

A similar ministerial meeting in mid-April was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by Gulf Cooperation Council states, in addition to Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, to discuss Syria’s situation.

A couple of days after the meeting, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud paid a visit to Damascus, marking the first visit of a Saudi official to Syria in 12 years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a speech in Ankara, Turkey, on May 18, 2022. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua/IANS)

Syria-Turkey: Iran keen to mediate

The Iranian foreign minister on Wednesday voiced his country’s readiness to support diplomatic efforts and forward-looking steps taken under the principle of good neighbourliness between Syria and Türkiye.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks during a quadrilateral meeting with his Syrian, Turkish and Russian counterparts on the Syria issue in Moscow, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website.

The meeting marks the highest-level talks so far on rebuilding ties between Damascus and Ankara, who cut ties in March 2012, a year after the outbreak of Syria’s civil war.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian welcomed Syria and Türkiye to resume their talks on the normalization, saying the development will be in the interests of the two countries and the entire region’s security.

He added Tehran believes that any political solution to the Syrian crisis should be built upon full respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, such respect can also benefit the stability and security of countries that share common borders with Syria.

He noted that Syria’s military deployment in border regions and joint efforts with its neighbours for the security of shared borders can prevent terror activities and separatists, easing their shared security concerns.

These would also prepare the ground for the re-establishment of the neighbourly and strategic ties between Damascus and Ankara, Syrian refugees’ return to their country, and the withdrawal of Turkish forces from joint border areas to an agreed timetable, he added.

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