On May 25, Syrian Tourism Minister, Mohammed Rami Radwan Martini, arrived in Saudi Arabia marking the first public visit by a Syrian official to the Kingdom in ten years.
The Syrian Arab News Agency said that the minister was officially invited to attend a conference by the World Truism Organization Committee for the Middle East.
“A delegation from the Ministry of Tourism in the Syrian Arab Republic headed by the Minister of Tourism, Eng. Muhammad Rami Radwan Martini, participated in the forty-seventh meeting of the World Tourism Organization Committee for the Middle East, the opening of the Middle East Regional Office and the Tourism Revival Conference that will be held in Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 26-27 May 2021, at the invitation from the Ministry of Tourism in the Kingdom and the World Tourism Organization,” the Syrian Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.
The visit represents a breakthrough in the relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia, especially that it came following reports of a near rapprochement between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia was among the first Arab countries to severe its relations with Damascus and voice its support for the 2011 upraising.
Recent reports revealed a secret meeting between Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief and his Syrian counterpart in the Syrian capital Damascus. Officials in Riyadh told the Guardian that the Kingdom may restore its relations with Damascus shortly after the three-day Eid al-Fitr festival, which ended on May 15.
The visit of the Syrian tourism minister to Saudi Arabia confirms that relations between the two countries has improved. However, it is still unclear when exactly diplomatic relations will be officially restored.
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