Syrian Foreign Minister in Algeria and Tunisia to revive diplomatic relations
In remarks broadcast by Algerian public television. Mikdad insisted that “relations between the two brotherly countries exist and will continue to exist…beyond the vicissitudes of the situation.”
“My visit will be an opportunity for exchanges between the two countries on the latest developments in the region. We need to strengthen this bilateral relationship,” he added.
Algeria is one of the few Arab countries that did not break ties with Syria during the civil war that followed the 2011 uprising.
Mikdad particularly hailed Algeria’s help after the devastating February 6 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people in Syria and neighboring Turkey.
He was also carrying a message from Assad to his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the official Algerian news agency APS reported.
The visit comes after Mikdad’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday led to the two countries announcing they were moving towards reopening embassies and resuming flights for the first time in more than a decade.
Syria was largely shunned by Arab governments following Assad’s brutal crackdown on protesters in 2011. The breakdown in relations resulted in Syria’s ousting from the Arab League.
However, in recent years, as Assad has consolidated his control over most of the country, Syria’s neighbors have begun to take steps towards rapprochement.
A group of regional leaders meeting in Saudi Arabia promised on Saturday to continue talks to reach a political solution to the Syrian conflict, but refrained from endorsing its return to the Arab League. The meeting included senior diplomats from Gulf Arab countries as well as Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.
Mikdad also made a recent trip to Egypt as part of a step towards normalizing relations.
He must go to Tunisia on Monday, where he must reopen the Syrian embassy.
Tunisian President Kais Saied announced earlier this month that he had asked the country’s foreign ministry to appoint a new ambassador to Syria. His decision was made by the Syrian government, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA.
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