Syria: media says Riyadh intelligence head meets with Assad

Two countries want to restore relations, suspended for 9 years

04 May, 16:58

    (ANSAMed) - BEIRUT, 04 MAG - The head of Saudi Arabian intelligence, General Khaled Humaydan, secretly travelled to Damascus where he was received by Syrian President Bashar al Assad and head of Syrian intelligence Ali Mamluk, said Pan-Arab media on Tuesday.

    They said the delegation went to the capital on Monday and met for just a few hours.

    According to non-specified "high-level diplomatic sources", the Pan-Arab daily al Ray al Yawm wrote that the delegation headed by Humaydan made an agreement with its Syrian counterpart to go back to Damascus immediately after celebrations for the end of Ramadan, in the second half of May.

    ANSA spoke to Western diplomatic sources in Riyadh who said they were unable to confirm the news, but said that "the intention of the Saudi government has been for some time to go back to having relations with the Syrian government".

    The objective of what the Pan-Arab media are calling an exploratory visit comes at a time in which Saudi Arabia and Syria are trying to break their respective regional isolation.

    Sources said the two countries are aiming to restore diplomatic relations that were suspended in 2012, following the conflict that broke out in Syria and that is still underway in the country.

    Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Damascus in February 2012.

    The Pan-Arab daily said reopening the Saudi embassy was discussed during the talks between Humaydan and Mamluk.


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