Evidence is increasing for the initiation of unannounced normalization between the Saudi regime and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, pending its release to light during the coming period, which represents a coup against the Kingdom’s position since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.
The recent period is witnessing a decline in the severity of criticism from the Saudi regime for the Syrian regime, and the absence of news of Syrian killing and blood through the official media in the Kingdom.
The Saudi authorities have also taken many measures that observers consider, in support of the Syrian regime, such as preventing the collection of donations to opposition forces or humanitarian cases, and the freezing of bank accounts of Syrian opposition figures.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called in the Saudi regime last month for a meeting in Riyadh, during which it chose the Independence Bloc within the Supreme Commission for Syrian Negotiations, which was described by observers as a Saudi movement to introduce changes to the structure of the body, with the aim of reducing Turkey’s influence within it, and strengthening the presence of those calling for dialogue and maintaining the Bashar al-Assad regime .
This comes in connection with the maintenance and renovation work being carried out in the Kingdom’s embassy in Damascus since last month, in preparation for its reopening.
Maintenance and rehabilitation of Saudi Airlines offices in the processing area in the center of the Syrian capital have also started with maintenance and furnishing of furniture to rehabilitate the offices as evidence of the approach of normalization and the resumption of relations that he is preparing for two years, under the coordination of Russian and Iranian and Iraqi mediation.
Syrian sources say that the Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi, established the stage of rapprochement between the Saudi and the Assad regime, and was followed by a member of the Iraqi Building Alliance Faleh Al-Fayyad, by conveying messages from the head of the Syrian regime to the Kingdom, after his visit to Damascus and the transmission of messages from Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.
The sources add, “we expect in parallel with the opening of the Saudi embassy, the return of flights between Riyadh and Damascus,” which stopped in two phases, the first was through the suspension of Saudi Airlines, after the decision to stop the flights of Arab airlines to Syrian airports in 2011, and the second was with the suspension of flights of airlines Syrian delegation to the Kingdom at the end of 2015.
And Syrian sources revealed that “the Assad government is preparing for a rapprochement with the Kingdom under Russian auspices, not ruling out the Assad regime’s obtaining Arab aid soon, and its return to the League of Arab States,” but things have not yet emerged. ”
Syria’s delegate to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, met in New York last month, his Saudi counterpart Abdullah Al-Muallami, and the Saudi state minister Fahd bin Abdullah Al Mubarak, on the sidelines of a special ceremony held in preparation for the Saudi presidency of the upcoming G20 meeting.
Al-Jaafari and Al-Muallemi’s meeting was preceded by the visit of official personalities from Saudi Arabia to Syria , according to official invitations from the Kingdom, in a development considered by observers as a Saudi prelude to the return of relations between Riyadh and Damascus.
Also, last December, the President of the Union of Journalists of the Assad regime, Musa Abdel Nour, participated in the meetings of the General Secretariat of the Arab Journalists Union in Riyadh, after the participation of the Minister of Education in the Assad government, Imad Mowaffaq Al-Azab, in an event in Riyadh, as part of a visit to the Kingdom.
Despite the non-announcement of the return of diplomatic relations between Riyadh and Syria (severed since 2012), there are several indications that the next stage will witness a shift towards the normalization of relations again between the two countries, and the reopening of the Kingdom’s embassy in Damascus.
With this, Riyadh is following in the footsteps of the Emirates and Bahrain, which restored relations with Syria about a year ago.
The signs of the Saudi-Syrian rapprochement began clearly in the meeting of the Arab Parliament in Amman, as Riyadh welcomed the continuation of support for the building of the headquarters of the Arab Parliamentary Union in Damascus, which was suspended years ago to be replaced by a temporary headquarters in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
Riyadh last year also stood by the representative of the Syrian regime at the meeting before some members ’demands to pay Damascus financial dues to Parliament, which is Syria’s share of crowd funding for the Arab Parliament project, as Damascus refused to pay money for past years because the freezing of its membership was not its will.
And at the end of 2018, Arab regimes such as Sudan, Egypt and Iraq began to normalize publicly with the Assad regime, which is heavily backed by Russia and Iran following the losses suffered by the opposition factions on the ground.