The Financial Times: The approach of divergence and self-distancing with Syria may be coming to an end
The Financial Times published a report by Heba Salih from Cairo, entitled, Egyptian Official Meets Bashar al Assad as Arab Countries Return to Deal with Syria.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister visited to Syria to meet with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a rare visit by a senior regional official to Damascus at a time when its Arab neighbors are heading towards re-establishing initial contact with the regime after the devastating earthquake that struck the country this month.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry said that, this trip is the first by an Egyptian foreign minister since the outbreak of civil war in Syria 12 years ago and Syria’s expulsion from the Arab League, was a show of solidarity after the earthquake that killed 6,000 Syrians.
Foreign ministers of the UAE and Jordan have visited Syria since the earthquake occurred, while Assad traveled this month to Oman, and that the UAE was the first Arab country to welcome Assad since the outbreak of the civil war when he traveled there a year ago.
The Arab governments have faced difficulties in developing a policy towards Syria since Assad brutally crushed the opposition and regained control of two-thirds of the country, with the support of Russia and Iran.
Damascus has been isolated for many years, and its regime is still subject to international sanctions due to widespread human rights violations against civilians in the context of its war against its opponents.
However, she says, the re-engagement with Assad indicates that the approach of divergence and self-distancing may be nearing to an end.
The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud, said this earlier on February that there is a growing consensus in the Arab world that isolating Syria doesn’t work.
The Saudi foreign minister suggested that a different approach be formulated to address issues such as Syrian refugees in neighboring countries and the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the earthquake.
The Egyptian foreign minister, during his visit to Damascus said that Egypt would provide more aid in coordination with the Syrian government, in addition to the supplies it has already provided, while the most of the Syrians who suffered and killed in the earthquake disaster were at rebel groups controlled areas in northwest Syria.