The fourth visit, Mekdad meets bin Farhan in Riyadh

Saudi and Syrian Foreign Ministers meet in Riyadh - March 14, 2024 (Saudi Foreign Ministry/X platform)

Saudi and Syrian Foreign Ministers meet in Riyadh - March 14, 2024 (Saudi Foreign Ministry/X platform)


Today, Thursday, March 14th, Syrian Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and met with his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan.

The official Syrian news agency (SANA) reported that Mekdad discussed with bin Farhan various aspects of bilateral relations and ways to advance and strengthen them, in addition to discussing developments and topics of mutual interest.

Mekdad was received in Riyadh by the Deputy Foreign Minister, Waleed al-Khuraiji, before meeting his Saudi counterpart, according to what was reported by the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

This step comes less than two months after Riyadh appointed a charge d’affaires at its embassy in Damascus, in a diplomatic representation that is the first of its kind since 2012.

The regime-affiliated newspaper al-Watan mentioned on January 31st that the Saudi charge d’affaires, Abdullah al-Haris, will be the first Saudi diplomat to start working in Syria since 2012.

On December 24, 2023, Riyadh received the credentials of Ayman Soussan as the Syrian Ambassador to the Saudi Kingdom after he took the legal oath before the Syrian regime’s President, Bashar al-Assad, on the 6th of the same month.

Saudi Arabia is the Arab country that has partly opened the door for al-Assad to return to the Arab fold, despite being affected by the ongoing drug smuggling issue from Syria, and the lack of results from its new vision for dealing with the Syrian file.

The Saudi kingdom hosted al-Assad twice since May 2023. The first visit marked al-Assad’s first participation in a summit since 2010 (Jeddah Summit – May 19), and the second was his participation in the Arab-Islamic Summit on Gaza, on November 10 of the same year.

Saudi Arabia also supports the Jordanian Initiative for a solution in Syria, which resulted in an Arab consensus on forming an Arab Liaison Committee, which held its only meeting on August 15, 2023, before the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bou Habib, revealed in October that there were Western pressures on the committee to not offer concessions to the Syrian regime.

After three visits

Mekdad visited Saudi Arabia in the middle of last year, for the third time within three months, and during the visit, he met his Saudi counterpart on the sidelines of his participation in the second meeting of the foreign ministers of the Arab League states with their counterparts from the small islands of the Pacific Ocean.

Mekdad had previously visited the Saudi city of Jeddah, in response to an official invitation received from bin Farhan, on April 12, 2023, which was the first of its kind since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011.

He also took part in the preparatory meeting of Arab foreign ministers for the Jeddah Summit on May 17 of the same year, and it was his second visit.


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