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Damascus, Cairo set to restore ties – WSJ – RT World News

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could soon meet his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, sources say

Syria and Egypt are in advanced talks to restore diplomatic ties that broke down after the outbreak of conflict in Syria in 2011, informed sources told The Wall Street Journal.

A summit is planned between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, shortly after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the end of April, the American media reported.

On Saturday, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad made his first official visit to Cairo in more than a decade, holding talks with senior Egyptian diplomat Sameh Shoukry.

According to the Syrian Foreign Ministry, the two sides discussed “various aspects of bilateral cooperation and ways to strengthen brotherly relations” during the meeting.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its statement, indicated that the ministers “agreed to intensify communication channels between the two countries at different levels during the coming phase.”

Shoukry reiterated Cario’s support for a “comprehensive political settlement of the Syrian crisis as soon as possible”, the statement read.

According to WSJ sources, the parties were also expected to discuss Syria’s possible return to the Arab League during the talks in Cairo. Damascus’ participation in the 22-nation group was suspended 12 years ago when members accused Syria of a violent crackdown on the opposition.

Assad’s government, which insists it has fought international terrorism for all these years, has now been able to regain almost full control of Syrian territory with the help of its allies Russia and the Iran.

Diplomatic relations between Cairo and Damascus were cut in 2013 under Egypt’s previous Islamist government of Mohamed Morsi, who supported the Syrian opposition. When announcing the closure of the embassy in Syria, Morsi also denounced the involvement of the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah in the conflict on the Damascus side and called for a no-fly zone to be established over from the country.

Putin and Syrian President Assad hold a meeting in Moscow

The restoration of relations between Damascus and the rest of the Arab world has been led by the United Arab Emirates, which reopened its Syrian embassy in 2018 and has been visited by Assad twice in the past two years. Last week, Syria and Saudi Arabia also agreed to restore their diplomatic missions.

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