WORLD Syria, Saudi Arabia agree to resume consular services, air flights


Syria, Saudi Arabia agree to resume consular services, air flights


07:07, April 13, 2023

DAMASCUS/RIYADH, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Syria and Saudi Arabia agreed in a joint statement to resume consular services and flights on Wednesday, after the bilateral ties have been stranded for years.

Humanitarian aid relief packages provided by Saudi Arabia for victims of the February 6 earthquake are unloaded off of an Ilyushin Il-76TD transport aircraft at Aleppo International Airport in northern Syria on February 14, 2023. (File photo: AFP)

The announcement came as Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad wrapped up his visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the first time since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011.

The statement said both Syria and Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume the consular services and the flights between the two countries, stressing that both sides have agreed on boosting security and counter-terrorism efforts, according to the Syrian Foreign Ministry.

The two sides discussed the necessary steps to achieve a comprehensive political settlement to the crisis in Syria that would end all its repercussions, achieve national reconciliation, and contribute to the return of Syria to its Arab surroundings and the resumption of its natural role in the Arab world, according to the statement.

The two countries also agreed to resolve humanitarian difficulties and offer a suitable environment for assistance to reach all parts of Syria, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The two sides stressed the importance of the return of Syrian refugees and displaced individuals to their areas, along with taking the required steps to stabilize the situation in the country.

Mekdad's visit to Saudi Arabia came upon the invitation by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, as the relations between both countries are on the way to normalization.

Also on Wednesday, Tunisia and Syria decided to reopen their respective embassies to resume diplomatic ties between the two countries.

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