Omani foreign minister makes rare visit to Syria



DAMASCUS (dpa)- Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi arrived in Damascus to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday, Syria's official news agency SANA and an Omani source reported.
The visit is the first by a senior representative of a Gulf country to Syria in nearly six years.



Al-Assad discussed with the Omani official “challenges imposed on the region and how to confront them,” the agency said without giving further details.
A diplomatic source at the Omani embassy in Damascus told dpa that al-Assad and Bin Alawi discussed boosting ties between the two countries.
The war is winding down in Syria after government forces, supported by allied Russians, regained large swathes of territory from rebels and Islamist militants, strengthening al-Assad's grip on power.
After the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, several Arab countries closed their embassies in Damascus in protest against the al-Assad government's oppression of protests.
Some rich Gulf countries also supported the rebels fighting to topple al-Assad.
Oman is the only Gulf country that has kept its embassy in Damascus open.
In December, the United Arab Emirates, another Gulf country, reopened its embassy in Damascus, more than seven years after its closure.
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Sunday, July 7th 2019
dpa
           


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