The senior foreign policy advisor to the Iranian Supreme leader, Kamal Kharrazi, met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on 21 March to discuss regional and international developments, such as the recent resumption of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, according to several Iran-based news outlets.

The Syrian President and the top Iranian official also discussed recent developments in Syria, as well as avenues to bolster bilateral relations between Damascus and Tehran.

Kharrazi also affirmed Tehran’s condolences for the Syrians that lost their lives during the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Syria and Turkiye last month.

In response, Assad thanked the Islamic Republic for its fight against foreign threats and “terrorism” and its efforts in providing humanitarian aid to Syria following the devastating earthquake.

After meeting with Assad, Kharrazi held talks with Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and Syrian Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammed Abdul Sattar.

On the same day, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister disclosed that the Kremlin is currently coordinating with Syria, Iran, and Turkiye on a specific date for a four-way meeting.

Since the resumption of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia after years of hostilities, experts indicate that this development enabled regional nations to consider mending relations with Tehran’s allies.

On 20 March, Riyadh announced its plans to reopen its consulate in Damascus, a decade after it was closed at the onset of the US-led war on Syria in 2011.

Saudi Arabia broke diplomatic ties with Damascus in 2012 amid efforts to topple the Syrian government. Saudi intelligence armed and funded extremist Salafist armed groups, including the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and ISIS.

Saudi actions, led by former ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin Sultan, came as part of the broader covert CIA effort to topple the Syrian government, known as Operation Timber Sycamore.

On 19 March, Assad visited Abu Dhabi for talks with the UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, where the two discussed the issue of stability in West Asia and the necessity of bringing Syria back into the Arab fold after a decade of isolation from western and Gulf countries.

The UAE was also one of the Gulf nations that cut ties with Syria following the start of the Syrian war.

Improved relations between the Gulf states and Syria come despite US opposition, indicating that Washington’s influence in the region may be waning.

The willingness of Arab countries to restore relations with Syria has increased over the past year and was further accelerated by February’s earthquake.

Source »