Director of the Syrian National Security Bureau, General Ali Mamlouk, made a secret visit to Saudi Arabia and met with senior Saudi officials, the al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on January 9 citing a source in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.
“The return of the heat to the diplomatic relations [between Syria and Saudi Arabia] is a matter of time only, Saudi Arabia is preparing for this strategic turn,” the Lebanese newspaper quoted the source as saying.
According to the source, Riyadh is not only willing to accept the status quo in Damascus but also planning to drive President Bashar al-Assad away from Tehran.
A recent report by the Sunday Telegraph said that Saudi Arabia will follow the footsteps of the UAE and Bahrain and reopen its embassy in Damascus this year. The decision will likely be taken ahead of the upcoming Arab summit in Tunisia next April.
If this is confirmed, the Syrian-Saudi reconciliation may impact positively the confllict. On the other side, Iran and Turkey, which also play an important role in the conflict, have little interests in such a development.