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Syria and Saudi Arabia: efforts to improve relations

Buthaina Shaaban, the Syrian presidency’s special adviser, claimed that attempts are being made to strengthen diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia after a decade of hostility between the two Arab countries, according to CNN.

“Efforts are being made to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Damascus, and positive results may come soon,” Shaaban told the local Arabic-language station Sham FM late Wednesday.

Shaaban described the visit of the Syrian Minister of Tourism Muhammad Rami Martini to Riyadh this week as a positive move, saying that it was the first visit of a Syrian minister to the Kingdom in recent years.

Martini landed in Riyadh on Tuesday evening to attend the 47th meeting of the World Tourism Organization Committee. That comes at a time when some Arab countries began to normalize relations with Syria.

Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Syria have been severed since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011. The country’s relations with several other Arab countries have also been seriously strained. Shortly after the war broke out, Syria was briefly suspended from the Arab League in 2013, its place on the council remaining vacant. 

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