Omani foreign minister makes rare visit to Syria

File photo: Oman’s foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi
File photo: Oman’s foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi

BEIRUT , Lebanon-  Oman’s foreign minister has made a rare visit to Damascus to discuss with President Bashar Assad ways of restoring stability and security in the region.

Oman is one of few Arab countries that kept normal relations with Damascus after Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 months after the country’s crisis began.

The Syrian Presidency said Assad discussed Sunday with Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi regional and international affairs as well as “economic and political challenges imposed on the region.”

Oman’s foreign ministry tweeted that Alawi delivered a message from the Sultan of Oman and talked about boosting efforts “to restore stability and security in the region.”

In March 2018, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem visited Oman.

From 1973 till 1974 Yusuf bin Alawi was the Omani  ambassador in Beirut.  He has been serving as the Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs since  1997 .

Oman is unusual among  the Arab Gulf states in that it has a long history of cordial relations with Tehran and played a key  role in mediating between   Iran  and the West  over the nuclear deal 

The Associated Press