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Gulf kingdom seeks to mend ties with Syria

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Saudi Arabia and Syria are reportedly in talks to resume consular services, more than a decade after the Gulf kingdom severed ties with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

A Saudi foreign ministry official revealed that discussions are underway between the two nations’ officials regarding the provision of consular services.

The move marks Saudi Arabia’s latest effort to repair relations with its regional rivals. Recently, a Chinese-brokered deal was announced to restore diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, seven years after they were severed.

Riyadh has also been hinting at a rapprochement with Syria for weeks, following its aid to both rebel-held and government-controlled parts of the country after a devastating earthquake struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6.

The Saudi officials coordinated with the Syrian Red Crescent on aid going into government-controlled territory, which saw amplified Arab engagement since the quake, including from governments that have so far resisted normalization after more than a decade of war.

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