Saudi Arabia to resume work of its diplomatic mission in Syria

CAIRO, May 9 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia will reopen its diplomatic mission in Syria, the Saudi foreign ministry said on Tuesday, nearly a decade after diplomatic ties were cut and two days after Syria was readmitted into the Arab League.

Some Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates, have turned the page with Damascus, reversing years of isolation over President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on protests in 2011 and the ensuing civil war.

Sources told Reuters in March that Damascus and Riyadh had agreed to reopen their embassies. The Saudi foreign ministry did not say on Tuesday when the embassy would re-open.

Syria’s state news agency said Damascus has decided to resume the work of its diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia.

Contacts between them had gathered momentum following a landmark China-brokered deal to re-establish ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a key ally of Assad, a regional source aligned with Damascus had said.

The United States, an ally of Saudi Arabia, has opposed moves by regional countries to normalise ties with Assad, citing his government’s brutality during the conflict and the need to see progress towards a political solution. Some Arab countries are also opposed.

The Saudi foreign ministry said the decision would support regional security and stability.

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