Tunisia will raise its diplomatic representation in Damascus from Monday, in a move that some consider as an attempt by President Kais Saied to restore relations with the Syrian regime.
A diplomat from the Tunisian embassy in Beirut has been assigned to strengthen its mission in Damascus, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry said.
The decision comes as a measure “to follow up the situation of the Tunisian community in Syria following the earthquake”, a ministry statement on Sunday said.
The government said the first increase in diplomatic representation in Damascus in years was needed to ensure the safety of Tunisian citizens living in areas affected by last week's mammoth earthquake and to help with evacuations.
In a meeting with the new Foreign Minister, Nabil Ammar, Mr Saied said “the issue of the Syrian regime is an internal matter”, specifying that ambassadors are appointed to a specific state and not any regime in question.
Tunisia severed its diplomatic relations with Damascus at the beginning of Syria's civil war in 2012, when Moncef Marzouki was president in Tunis.
In 2015, relations resumed but were limited to consular representation office in Damascus to manage Tunisian affairs in Syria.