Becoming the first Gulf Arab state, Oman has sent an envoy to Syria, after they downgraded or close missions in Damascus in 2012 over attacks by the government there on protests at the start of what turned into a war.
Despite pressure from the United States and other Gulf allies, Oman is one of the rare Arab countries that kept diplomatic relations with the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad after the 2011 uprising,
State news agency ONA said that Syria’s foreign minister accepted the credentials of Oman’s Ambassador Turki bin Mahmood al-Busaidy, appointed to the post in a royal decree in March.
Some Arab states are seeking reconciliation with Damascus after decisive gains by pro-government forces in the conflict, aiming to expand their clout in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran, who have backed Assad.
Oman, whose Sultan Haitham pledged when assuming power in January to continue maintaining friendly ties with all nations, kept its embassy open, as did Bahrain, Kuwait has said it would re-open its mission in Damascus if there is agreement in the Arab League, which suspended Syria’s membership in 2011.
President Bashar al-Assad has recovered control of most of Syria with support from Russia, The United States has imposed new sanctions aimed at cutting off funds for Assad’s government and warned that anyone doing business with Damascus was also at risk of being blacklisted.
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