Syrian FM in Saudi Arabia for first visit since 12 years: Ministry
The Saudi Foreign Ministry says the Syrian and Saudi foreign ministers will hold talks on efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad on Wednesday arrived in Saudi Arabia, a Saudi statement confirmed, on the first such trip since the outbreak of the war on Syria.
According to the Saudi Foreign Ministry, al-Miqda flew to Jeddah after an invitation from his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal Bin Farhan.
The two top diplomats will "hold a session of talks on efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis that preserves the unity, security and stability of Syria," the statement specified.
Al-Miqdad and bin Farhan will also discuss "facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, and securing humanitarian access to the affected areas in Syria".
#جدة | معالي نائب وزير الخارجية #وليد_الخريجي @W_Elkhereiji يستقبل معالي وزير الخارجية والمغتربين في الجمهورية العربية السورية الدكتور فيصل المقداد، وذلك لدى وصوله إلى مطار الملك عبدالعزيز في مدينة جدة pic.twitter.com/kEddMqqJly— وزارة الخارجية 🇸🇦 (@KSAMOFA) April 12, 2023
The Syrian Foreign Minister arrived two days before nine Arab countries gathered in Jeddah on Friday to discuss inviting the Syrian government to attend an Arab League summit next month.
According to sources, the League is currently split on the decision to re-include Syria's membership, with reports stating that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are trying to convince Qatar and Kuwait of its readmission before the May summit takes place.
A spokesperson for the Qatari Foreign Ministry told reporters that Qatari diplomat Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani would attend the Arab Gulf meeting on Syria but said that Qatar’s stance on its readmission remained unchanged.
Earlier, Qatar Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari confirmed that ministers and top officials from the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- and Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan have been invited to the summit.
Over the past few months, there has been increasing engagement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Syrian President has visited the UAE and Oman this year and last month Saudi Arabia said it has started talks with Damascus about resuming consular services.
Last week, CNN reported that CIA director William Burns made an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia to express his frustration that peace was breaking out in the Middle East against Washington's wishes.
The Wall Street Journal cited sources familiar with the matter as saying that Burns expressed frustration with the Saudis and told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the US has felt blindsided by Riyadh’s rapprochement with Iran and Syria under the auspices of Washington’s global rivals.