Jeddah, The Gulf Observer: Signaling that Syria’s decade-long regional isolation is nearing an end, Damascus agreed with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to initiate the necessary steps to achieve a comprehensive political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
In a joint statement issued at the end of the official talks between Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Dr. Faisal Mekdad in Jeddah on Wednesday, the two countries decided to secure humanitarian aid access to all Syrian territories.
Mekdad arrived in response to an invitation extended by Prince Faisal bin Farhan. It is the first visit by a senior Syrian diplomat to the Kingdom in more than a decade, following a recent agreement between Riyadh and Damascus to re-establish bilateral ties and reopen their embassies.
The foreign ministers’ talks focused on adopting the measures to be taken to realize comprehensive settlement of the Syrian crisis that would end all its repercussions, achieve national reconciliation, and contribute to the return of Syria to its Arab fold, apart from the resumption of Syria’s natural role in the Arab world.
During the session of official talks, the two sides discussed the efforts exerted to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis that preserves Syria’s unity, security, stability, Arab identity, and territorial integrity, in a way that promotes the welfare and prosperity of the Syrian people.
According to the statement, Saudi Arabia and Syria agreed on the importance of resolving humanitarian difficulties and providing a suitable environment for aid to reach all areas in Syria. They also agreed to create the necessary conditions for the return of Syrian refugees and displaced persons to their areas, ending their suffering and enabling them to return safely to their homeland, and taking further measures that would contribute to stabilizing the situation in the entire Syrian territories.
The two sides stressed the importance of strengthening security and combating terrorism in all its forms and organizations. The two countries also underlined the need to enhance cooperation in combating drug smuggling and trafficking, and the need to support the Syrian state institutions, to extend their control over its lands to end the presence of armed militias as well as the foreign interference in the internal affairs of Syria.
Saudi Arabia and Syria welcomed the start of procedures for the resumption of consular and diplomatic services and flights between the two countries.
On his part, the Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad appreciated the efforts made by Saudi Arabia to end the Syrian crisis, and its provision of humanitarian and relief aid to those affected by the devastating earthquakes that struck Syria in February this year.