Saudi Arabia to resume embassy activities in Damascus, Syrian source says

Riyadh restored diplomatic ties with Syria last May as President Bashar Al Assad returned to Arab fold

A Saudi technical team travelled to Damascus last year to prepare for the reopening of the kingdom's embassy. SPA
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Saudi Arabia is set to resume activities at its embassy in Syria, less than a year after diplomatic ties were restored between the countries following President Bashar Al Assad’s return to the Arab fold, a Syrian source told The National.

Saudi Arabia re-established relations with Damascus in May last year, more than a decade after withdrawing its representatives owing to the Syrian civil war. Mr Al Assad was formally welcomed back into the regional fold at an Arab League summit in Jeddah.

“Within the next two days, there will be a return of the activities at the embassy. Right now there are names that have been assigned. The official reopening of the embassy has not happened yet, but in two days it will resume activities,” the source said.

Following the summit last year, a technical team from the Saudi Foreign Ministry arrived in Damascus to begin preparations for the reopening of the embassy. A ministry source said “there are plans to finalise this very soon”.

Syria in December appointed Mohamed Sousan as its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, but he has not yet travelled to Riyadh to reopen the embassy. While Riyadh has not yet formally announced who will be appointed as ambassador to Damascus, a charge d'affaires is expected to lead the mission in the interim.

The Arab League last year announced Syria's conditional return after more than a decade of isolation. The decision was made by foreign ministers at an emergency meeting in Cairo, home to the organisation's headquarters.

A statement released at the time said the move would help to end the “suffering” of the Syrian people and allow them to “realise their legitimate future aspirations".

Updated: January 22, 2024, 12:47 PM