Algeria resumes flights to Syria

Syrian airplanes at Damascus International Airport - September 29, 2022 (Damascus International Airport/Facebook)

Syrian airplanes at Damascus International Airport - September 29, 2022 (Damascus International Airport/Facebook)

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The Algerian Ministry of Transport announced on Tuesday, December 12, the resumption of flights to both Syria and Lebanon.

According to a statement by the ministry, the decision was made based on directives from the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to activate flights from Algeria to Beirut and Damascus and then back to Algeria on a weekly basis starting from December 21.

Furthermore, starting from January 9, 2024, there will be two weekly flights between the two countries.

Flights between Syria and Algeria have been suspended for ten years, and flights between Algeria and Lebanon were halted in 2020 due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two visits and ambassador appointment

In June, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, received a copy of credentials from Kamal Boushama, the Algerian Ambassador in Damascus.

This step came after two visits by Mekdad to Algeria in less than a year, with the aim of enhancing bilateral relations and exploring ways to develop them, in addition to discussing the latest developments on the Arab and international scenes.

In May 2017, the Syrian Minister of Transport at the time, Ali Hammoud, emphasized the importance of resuming Algerian airlines to Damascus, while the Algerian Ambassador stressed the significance of Algeria being at the forefront of countries returning to Syria, clarifying that the Algerian embassy in Syria had not closed during the entire period of the Syrian revolution.

Algeria previously refused in 2011 to withdraw its ambassador, Amar Belani, following a decision issued by the Arab League calling for the withdrawal of Arab ambassadors from Syria, justifying it as a sovereign matter for Algeria that it would not comply with the decision.

Algeria sought earlier for the return of the Syrian regime to the Arab League prior to the summit held in the Algerian capital in November 2022, but some Arab countries rejected the return of the regime, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Eventually, the regime’s president Bashar al-Assad was able to attend the Riyadh summit in Saudi Arabia.

Several diplomatic visits have taken place between the Syrian regime and Algeria, based on the continuous relations between the two parties, to explore the possibility of supplying Syrian homes with Algerian gas, but these meetings have not yielded any results in this regard.

 

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