Sudan’s Bashir First Arab President to Visit Syria’s Assad
Sudan’s president on Sunday became the first Arab League leader to visit Syria since war erupted there nearly eight years ago.
Syria's state-run news agency SANA said Omar al-Bashir was greeted at the Damascus airport by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before they both headed to the presidential palace, where they held talks on bilateral relations and the latest developments in Syria and the region.
The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and the "situations and crises faced by many Arab countries", the Syrian presidency said.
Photographs released by SANA showed them shaking hands at the airport in front of a Russian jet that appears to have brought the Sudanese president to Syria. Russia, a key ally of Assad, maintains an airbase southeast of the Syrian city of Latakia.
SANA quoted al-Bashir as saying during the meeting that he hopes Syria will recover its important role in the region as soon as possible. He also affirmed Sudan's readiness to provide all that it can to support Syria's territorial integrity.
For his part, Assad thanked al-Bashir for his visit, asserting that it will give strong momentum for restoring relations between the two countries "to the way it was before the war on Syria", SANA said.
In October, al-Assad told a Kuwaiti newspaper that Syria had reached a “major understanding” with Arab states after years of hostility. He did not name the Arab countries in the interview, which was his first with a Gulf paper since the war erupted, but he said Arab and Western delegations had begun visiting Syria to prepare for the reopening of diplomatic and other missions.
The interview came on the heels of a surprisingly warm meeting between the Syrian foreign minister and his Bahraini counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September in New York. The meeting turned heads because it featured hugs between the two ministers.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team