Saturday, April 20, 2024

Syrian president visits Oman, first since war

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has visited Oman and met with Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said on Monday. This is his first official trip to the Persian Gulf country in more than a decade of war at home.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that Assad and his accompanying delegation landed at Muscat International Airport on Monday, and were received by the Omani monarch.

Assad and Sultan Haitham later held a face-to-face meeting at Beit al-Baraka royal palace in Seeb, near Muscat, where the Omani king offered his condolences to the Syrian government and nation over the natural calamity.

He also stressed his country’s unflinching support for Syria in order to help the country cope with the aftermath of the earthquake and repercussions of the foreign-sponsored militancy as well as the unilateral sanctions imposed by the West on Damascus.

For his part, Assad expressed his gratitude to the Omani monarch, authorities and people for their solidarity with Syria and delivery of humanitarian aid convoys. He also appreciated Oman’s support for Syria in the fight against Takfiri terrorists groups.

The talks between the two Arab leaders also focused on age-old relations between Muscat and Damascus, with special emphasis on expansion of bilateral ties in various fields and common areas of interest.

They also exchanged viewpoints on the latest regional and international developments and efforts underway to guarantee security and stability in the West Asia region.

Assad said Oman has always adopted balanced policies and stances vis-à-vis regional issues, calling for Muscat’s stronger role in promotion of relations among Arab states based on the principle of mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs.

Oman was one of the few Arab states to maintain diplomatic ties with Damascus after the breakout of the foreign-backed militancy in the Arab country in March 2011, in spite of pressure from the United States and other Persian Gulf allies.

The country was also the first Persian Gulf state to reinstate its envoy to Syria in October 2020.

Deceased Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem accepted the credentials of Oman’s Ambassador Turki bin Mahmood al-Busaidy, appointed to the post by royal decree in March that year.

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