Resumption of commercial flights signs thaw in relations among Syria, Saudi Arabia Arabic

(MENAFN) After more than a decade of suspended flights, commercial air travel between Syria and Saudi Arabia resumed on Wednesday, marking a significant milestone in the improving relations between the two nations. Syrian state media reported this development, highlighting the gradual rapprochement following a lengthy period of severed ties. Diplomatic relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia were cut off in 2012 due to Saudi Arabia's disapproval of the Syrian government's harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters, a conflict that escalated into a prolonged and devastating civil war starting in 2011. However, the tide has been turning as most Arab countries have begun to re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus. Syria's re-admittance into the 22-member Arab League last year underscored this regional shift.

Ayman Sousan, Syria's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, expressed optimism about the resumption of flights, describing it as a significant step towards further developing the relations between the two brotherly countries. This sentiment was echoed in the official statement by the Syrian news agency "SANA". This development follows a precedent set in May when Syrian pilgrims traveled directly to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, marking the first direct flight for such a purpose since the conflict began. However, the Syrian Airlines flight to Riyadh on Wednesday signifies the re-establishment of regular charter flights, which were halted for over a decade.

The 13-year-old conflict in Syria has reached a state of stalemate. The central government in Damascus has managed to regain control over the majority of the country. Nevertheless, the northwest remains under the sway of various opposition groups, and Kurdish forces maintain a stronghold in the northeast. Despite the ongoing complexities on the ground, the resumption of commercial flights between Syria and Saudi Arabia represents a notable advancement in diplomatic efforts and a potential easing of regional tensions.



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