Damascus, Riyadh Announce Decision to Restore Ties

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Damascus and Riyadh said they have decided to resume diplomatic ties after more than a decade.

They announced separate decisions to resume their diplomatic relations on Tuesday.

It comes more than a decade after Riyadh cut the ties and began throwing support behind anti-Damascus terrorist outfits.

The kingdom “has decided to resume the work of its diplomatic mission in Syria,” Riyadh’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) also quoted a foreign ministry source as saying that “the Syrian Arab Republic has decided to resume the work of its diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia and its allies cut their relations with Syria following the 2011 outbreak of a huge wave of foreign-backed violence across the Arab nation.

The eruption of the violence was followed by numerous reports and official accounts pointing to the provision of support on the part of the allied states to the Takfiri outfits that had begun a campaign of bloodshed and destruction throughout Syria.

The terrorist groups soon overran huge swaths of the Syrian territory, causing Damascus to seek out the assistance of its own allies, including Iran and Russia, in its bid to reverse the terrorists’ gains.

The Islamic Republic then began providing crucial military advisory assistance for Syria’s anti-terror efforts, while Russia would back Damascus’ ground operations with aerial support.

The joint efforts helped Syria push successfully back against the terror groups to the point that the country has now managed to restore its sovereignty over the majority of its soil.

Over the past couple of years, Syria’s successful anti-terror drive and return of calm to the biggest part of the country, has prompted many regional states to make overtures to Damascus towards the restoration of their ties with the Arab state.

Three weeks ago, Assad met in Damascus with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the first such visit since 2011.

Assad and Prince Faisal discussed steps to “achieve a comprehensive political settlement that… contributes to Syria’s return to the Arab fold,” the Saudi foreign ministry said.

On Sunday, the Arab League also agreed with the resumption of Syria’s membership of the regional grouping.

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