Middle East

Oman, Syria to boost bilateral relations

Oman and Syria are to enhance bilateral relations following a meeting between Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Hamad Al-Busaidi and Syria’s Minister of Culture, Dr Lubanah Mshaweh, on Sunday.

According to the Oman News Agency, the pair discussed enhancing cultural ties between the two countries, including the holding of mutual art exhibitions and restoring antiquities.

Mshaweh, who is on a working visit to the sultanate, toured the Omani National Museum which displays 175 Syrian antiquities.

Oman has been described as the chief architect in leading normalisation efforts with Damascus, having maintained ties throughout the decade-long conflict. The sultanate has been joined by Egypt the UAE and Algeria in backing Syria’s return to the Arab League.

READ: Iran, Oman agree to jointly develop shared oilfield

In February during an official visit to Damascus, Al-Busaidi referred to Syria as “a cornerstone of joint Arab action”, adding that “All the Arab brothers always look forward to meeting with Syria and the return of Arab cohesion to its normal status. Therefore, all our endeavours, myself and others from the Arab brothers, are directed towards this field.”

During Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent one-day visit to Muscat, he is reported to have requested Oman help bring back Syria to the Arab League after it was suspended in 2011 over its harsh clampdown against pro-democracy protestors.

“Moscow appreciates Muscat’s objective and balanced position on the Syrian crisis, and the Sultanate can play a role in returning Syria to the Arab family,” Al-Araby Al-Jadeed quoted Lavrov as saying.

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