Thursday, June 13, 2024

Syria, Tunisia to resume diplomatic ties after a decade

Syria and Tunisia have agreed to resume diplomatic ties after a decade. The Syrian government is planning to reopen its embassy in Tunis after the North African country announced the appointment of a new envoy to Damascus.

The announcement was made in a joint statement by Syria and Tunisia on Wednesday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

Damascus government, the statement noted, has decided to reopen its embassy in Tunis and appoint an ambassador there “soon” in response to Tunisian President Kais Saied’s initiative to appoint an ambassador in Syria.

“Out of both sides’ keenness to restore the Syrian-Tunisian relations to their normal track, consultation and coordination are ongoing between the foreign ministers of the two countries to further consolidate the deep-rooted ties of brotherhood binding Syria and Tunisia, and to uplift the values of solidarity between them serving the interests of their two brotherly peoples,” read the statement.

Syria’s decision followed a similar move by Tunisia on April 3 when Saied instructed his foreign minister to begin procedures to appoint an ambassador to Damascus.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad had a phone conversation with his Tunisian counterpart Nabil Ammar earlier in the month, during which the two pledged to enhance the level of diplomatic representation amid a new wave of enhancement of ties between Syria and its Arab neighbors.

Tunis cut diplomatic relations with Damascus following the start of the foreign-backed war on Syria in 2011.

Tunisia began limited diplomatic links with Syria in 2017, in part to help track more than 3,000 Tunisian militants reportedly fighting in Syria.

However, since Saied took the helm in 2021 and consolidated his power, Tunis has been sending Damascus signals that it is ready to resume full diplomatic ties with it.

The Tunisian president officially announced last month that he planned to restore diplomatic relations with Syria.

Several other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, in the past months, have sent similar signals, indicating that they too are prepared to resume ambassador-level diplomatic ties with the Syrian government.

In February, a number of Arab parliament speakers and senior legislators visited Damascus as part of a concerted bid to restore Syria’s membership in the Arab League, more than a decade after it was suspended from the 22-member bloc.

Riyadh is reportedly set to invite President Bashar al-Assad to attend the Arab League summit next month in what has been described by experts as a significant development in the resumption of ties between Damascus and other Arab states.

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