Showing posts with label Oman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oman. Show all posts

Monday, April 08, 2024

Was Biden angry with Netanyahu for attacking Iran’s diplomatic building, a treaty violation, or for killing aid workers, a war crime, or both?

    Monday, April 08, 2024   No comments

With news reports about US administration reaching out to Iran with an offer to stop its promise of retaliatory strikes against Israel for the latter's attack on Iran's diplomatic facility in Syria, and with Iran's foreign minister making an unscheduled trip to Oman yesterday, it appears that Biden used the killing of aid workers to mask his anger with Israel crossing a red line and carrying out what is essentially a direct attack on Iran.

There is no doubt that Iran can retaliate directly against Israel. It did so against the US when Trump assassinated Soleimani in January 2020. An Iranian retaliatory attack against Israel could set new course for the entire region, however. 

If Iran attacks Israel directly, the right-wing government in Israel will be forced to retaliate or it will collapse. If it were to retaliate to the retaliation, the armed confrontation enters a new phase, similar to the active front with Hezbollah. That will be catastrophic for Israel for many reasons.

Israel cannot invade Iran and if the US does not get involved directly, all Israel can do is to trade rockets and bombs from distance. That formular favors Iran for many reasons, too.  

First, Iran is a much larger country, and its weapons systems are dispersed all over the country. It will not be possible for Israel to take out all weapons systems. If that was possible, US could have done that in Yemen where a much smaller and less prepared group, the Houthis, have overcome a military Western coalition that has been bombing them for months.

Second, Iran has a formidable array of weapons, rockets and drones, that can be launched for months or even years. In addition to these long-distance weapons, Iran can rely on its allies in Gaza, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq to provide support.

Iran will respond given that the highest authority in the country already stated that Iran will receive “a slap”. The question is whether US diplomacy will manage to limit Iran’s response to limits of Israel’s attack. That is, an attack on Israeli diplomatic missions and perhaps an attack on military installations in occupied territories to end the cycle. Iran has the option to attack Israel directly because it considers its diplomatic facilities sovereign territories of Iran. However, attacking Israel diplomatic facilities places Iran outside International norms, too, which it has been using to get the world community to condemn it. 

All these factors give credence to the reporting about the US offer to Iran, possibly through Oman. Because all these indicator show that Israel committed a grave mistake when it attacked a diplomatic facility. It may not just US acting to prevent the widening of a conflict, it is likely that Israel wants to limit the damage too. 

The following media reports provide more contect to what might be behind the scene negotiations.

Iranian diplomatic sources say the US is trying to convince Iran not to retaliate against Israel for its bombing of the Iranian embassy in Syria earlier this month, Al-Jarida newspaper reported on 8 April.

The Israeli strike targeted a building attached to the Iranian embassy in Damascus. It led to the killing of the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, his deputy, and five other IRGC officers.

A source in the Iranian foreign ministry told Al-Jarida that Washington offered Tehran direct negotiations with Tel Aviv to de-escalate the conflict.  

According to the source, Washington will guarantee to persuade Tel Aviv to stop its military operations in Syria and Lebanon on the condition that Iran commit not to retaliate against Israel for the Damascus attack.

At the same time, a diplomatic source in Beirut told Al-Jarida that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected an American proposal to pledge to stop attacks in Syria.

The source added that Iranian leader Ali Khamenei is reviewing the US offer but is not expected to accept it if it does not include guarantees for a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza and to stop all Israeli and US attacks on Iranian targets or those belonging to Iran's allies in the Axis of Resistance.

The source revealed that the Iranians had also previously received a verbal Israeli proposal via a Gulf state. In the proposal, Tel Aviv claimed it was ready to stop operations against Iranian targets in Syria and Lebanon in exchange for Tehran abandoning retaliation for the killing of Zahedi, whose killing was considered the most significant blow to Iran since the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

According to the source, the Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the Israeli message by saying that the proposal must also include a ceasefire in Gaza.

However, some IRGC leaders were unhappy with the foreign ministry's response, viewing the Israeli proposal as a trap. The IRGC leaders argued that any negotiations with Israel must take place only after Iran has retaliated.

The source stated that IRGC commanders believe that Israel's targeting of the Iranian consulate is an opportunity that should not be missed to strike a strong blow at Israel, especially since the consular building in Damascus is considered sovereign Iranian territory and was targeted in a clear violation of international law.

The source said that the IRGC leadership believes Washington will not enter a war with Iran even if it retaliates against Israel. They also consider that an adequately harsh strike against Israel will compel it to accept a ceasefire in Gaza and abandon any plans to invade Lebanon or escalate its bombing in Syria.

Western government continue to lose credibility

Despite the fact that the attack on Iran’s diplomatic mission in Syria violated global treaties including the Vienna Conventions regulating diplomatic and consular relations and the immunities of diplomats and headquarters (1961, 1963, 1969) and the Rome Statute, US government and its Western allies did not explicitly condemn the attack. Instead, they called on Iran to exert “self-restraint.” 

On Thursday, the German Foreign Ministry called, through a statement, on all parties in the Middle East to calm down, exercise restraint, and act responsibly, following a call by Minister Annalena Baerbock who discussed the matter with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

On Thursday, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron warned of “expanding conflicts”. During a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, according to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry that was reported by local media outlets, including the private “Tasnim” agency.

According to the agency, the Iranian Foreign Ministry quoted Cameron as saying that he asked Iran to exercise restraint, and said that “lack of restraint on the part of the parties could lead to further expansion of conflicts in the region.”

Regional powers on the other hand voiced condemnation, directly accusing Israel of violating international norms.

Turkey denounced, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the bombing and considered it a violation of international law, warning that the attack may lead to an exacerbation of the conflict in the region.

Saudi Arabia also condemned the targeting in a Foreign Ministry statement, expressing its “categorical rejection of targeting diplomatic facilities for any justification, and under any pretext.”

In a brief Foreign Ministry statement, the UAE condemned “the targeting of the Iranian diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital, Damascus,” without any additional comment.

Qatar also condemned, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the attack, and considered it “a blatant violation of international agreements and conventions,” stressing “its complete rejection of targeting diplomatic and consular missions and the necessity of providing protection for their employees in accordance with the rules of international law.”

Egypt said, in a statement to the Foreign Ministry, “We categorically reject the attack on diplomatic facilities under any justification, and we stand in solidarity with Syria in respecting its sovereignty and the integrity of its lands and people.”

Kuwait also considered, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the attack a “flagrant assault,” renewing its call on “the international community and the Security Council to assume its responsibilities towards taking the necessary measures and exerting the necessary efforts to preserve the safety and stability of the countries of the region and reduce tension and escalation.”

In a statement condemning the attack, the Omani Foreign Ministry stressed “the need to stop the escalation in the region and reject aggression and other actions that threaten security and stability,” expressing condolences to the families of the victims and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

Iraq also confirmed in a Foreign Ministry statement that the attack “represents a clear and flagrant violation of international law and Syrian sovereignty,” warning that “the expansion of the cycle of violence in the region will lead to more chaos and instability.”

China and Russia, on the other hand, took advantage of Western reluctance to denounce the flouting of international law


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that his country strongly condemns the Israeli attack and stresses that the security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated. He stressed in a press conference in Beijing that “China opposes any actions that lead to escalation of tensions in the Middle East region.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday strongly condemned the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus earlier in the day, denouncing the action as "unacceptable."
"We consider any attacks on diplomatic and consular facilities, the inviolability of which is guaranteed by the relevant Vienna Conventions, to be categorically unacceptable," the ministry said in a statement.
Noting that the attack was carried out in a densely populated metropolitan area with a high risk of mass civilian casualties, the ministry said such "aggressive" actions by Israel are "absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped."

 


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Egypt and Iran will exchange ambassadors this year as part of a process mediated by the Sultanate of Oman and an upcoming meeting between Sisi and Raisi

    Wednesday, May 24, 2023   No comments

Egyptian officials told an Emirati newspaper today, Wednesday, that Egypt and Iran are expected to exchange ambassadors within months, as part of a process brokered by the Sultanate of Oman to normalize relations between the two regional powers.

Two officials told the English-language The National that a meeting had been agreed in principle between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Iranian counterpart, Ibrahim Raisi.

They said the meeting was likely to take place by the end of the year.

The news comes days after Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq paid a two-day visit to Egypt, where he discussed with Sisi including Cairo's relations with Tehran, according to the officials.


Oman enjoys close relations with Islamic and non-Arab Iran, and has often assumed mediating roles in regional disputes or in disputes pitting Tehran against other governments, in the Arab world and in the West.

For its part, Iran has said it wants better relations with Egypt, the most populous Arab country. However, the Egyptian government has been silent on relations with Iran, but regional media have been reporting on an imminent improvement in relations in recent weeks.

The two officials said normalizing relations with Iran guarantees Tehran's goodwill with regard to Cairo's efforts to forge closer economic and trade ties with countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where it wields significant influence.

According to the newspaper, mid-level diplomats and intelligence officials from Iran and Egypt have held closed-door consultations on normalizing relations since last March. The latest round of these talks was held earlier this month in Baghdad, whose government has close ties with Tehran.

And she continued: “In addition to bilateral relations, the talks touched on reducing tension in places where Iran exercises great influence, such as Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, by supporting allied Shiite governments or armed groups.”

She believed that "the thaw in relations between Cairo and Tehran would add a new layer to the ongoing regional realignment that is changing the political landscape in the region."

Saudi Arabia, for example, has agreed to restore diplomatic relations with Iran that were severed in 2016, thus removing a major source of tension in the Middle East. Egypt and Turkey are also working to resolve a decade-long dispute, and in the actual direction of normalizing relations.

The eight-year war in Yemen, where Iran supported Ansar Allah against the internationally recognized government, which is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, has subsided dramatically amid diplomatic moves to end the conflict.

Syria returned to the League of Arab States this month, amidst a great Iranian welcome. President Bashar al-Assad attended the Arab Summit in Jeddah last week for the first time in 12 years.

Tehran's relations with Cairo have been fraught since the overthrow of Iran's Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Pahlavi died in Egypt in 1980 and was buried with other members of his family, causing tension between Cairo and Tehran.

Relations deteriorated further when the Iranian government named a street in Tehran after Khaled Islambouli, the Egyptian army officer who led a team of assassins who assassinated former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during a 1981 military parade in Cairo.

Relations also increased tension over what Cairo considers Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, which closed its embassy in Tehran in 2016, Egypt has maintained diplomatic representation in Iran since the Islamic Revolution. However, it has only the chargé d'affaires who manages its mission in Tehran. Iran on the other hand has a functioning embassy in Cairo.


Related to this development, the Omani news agency announced today, Wednesday, that the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, will visit Iran, next Sunday, on a two-day official visit, accompanied by a high-ranking official delegation.


The agency stated, in a statement, that the visit comes within the framework of strengthening the friendship ties between the Sultanate of Oman and the Islamic Republic of Iran, consolidating fruitful relations and good neighborliness between them, and in response to the invitation extended to him by the Iranian President, Ibrahim Raisi, to Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.


The statement added that the visit contributes to consultation and coordination between the two leaderships to discuss various developments on the regional and international arenas.


At the beginning of this month, the Chief of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Muhammad Bagheri, met the Sultan of Oman, and held a round of talks with him.


Iranian media reported that the Sultan of Oman told Bagheri, "The level of cooperation in various defense and military fields between the two countries' armed forces must be raised."


It is noteworthy that Tehran and Muscat have close relations, and they signed 8 memorandums of understanding and 4 cooperation programs last May, during Raisi's official visit to Oman.


During that visit, 12 cooperation documents were signed in the fields of energy, politics, transport, diplomatic cooperation, trade and economic relations, science, the environment and sports. A joint statement was issued by both sides at the end of the visit.


After his return to Tehran, Raisi confirmed that the positions of Iran and the Sultanate of Oman are "remarkably consistent on many issues," noting that "the good relations between Iran and Oman enhance regional cooperation."


Friday, March 10, 2023

Brokered by Chinese diplomacy, National Security Apparatuses in Iran and Saudi Arabia greenlight the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries

    Friday, March 10, 2023   No comments

China’s quiet diplomacy in the Middle East turned a low-level conflict with Iran into a consequential development that could change the trajectory of region.

For months and years, Iraq and Oman have been working hard to bring the two regional powers to a point where they will be able to talk to each other directly. Nothing happened. Within weeks, and since the Chinese president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, China relied on its excellent relations with Iran and exploited Saudi Arabia’s interest in an Asia pivot to bring these countries together. 

Direct and meaningful talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia will have secondary effects on the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

*****

Following Iranian President Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Beijing last February, Admiral Shamkhani began intensive talks with his Saudi counterpart on Monday, in order to finally resolve issues between Tehran and Riyadh.

And he announced in a joint statement that Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume bilateral relations. As it was stated at the conclusion of the completed talks between the two countries, that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and representations within two months.


At the conclusion of these talks, a tripartite statement was issued today, Friday, in Beijing, signed by Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Musaed bin Muhammad Al-Aiban, the Saudi Minister of State, Advisor to the Council of Ministers and National Security Adviser, and Fang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and Chairman. Office of the CPC Central Committee on Foreign Affairs and member of the Government Council of the People's China.


The statement said, in response to the worthy initiative of Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, to support the strengthening of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and based on the principle of good neighborliness and in view of his agreement with the presidents of the two countries to host and support dialogue between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the desire the two countries sought to resolve differences through dialogue and diplomacy based on fraternal ties, and affirming the two countries' adherence to the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter, the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and international principles and procedures. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Minister of State, Cabinet Member and National Security Adviser, in Beijing, from March 6-10, 2023.


He added, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia express their gratitude to the Republic of Iraq and the Sultanate of Oman for hosting the talks between the two sides in the years (2021 to 2022) and the leadership and government of the People's Republic of China for hosting and supporting the talks that took place in this country and the efforts made to make them a success.


He continued, as a result of the completed talks, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and representations within two months.


The statement said that the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet to implement this decision and make the necessary arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors.


The two countries affirmed respect for sovereignty and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, within the framework of implementing the security cooperation agreement signed on 4/17/2001 as well as the general economic, trade and investment agreement and technical, scientific, cultural, sports and youth cooperation signed on 5/27/1998.


The statement indicated that the three countries declare their firm determination to employ all efforts to promote peace and security at the regional and international levels.


These developments came just days from the breaking news of a visit by Iran's national security chief to a foreign country. The cryptic news bulletin did not mention the country or offer any other context. It mere stated that:

News sources reported that Admiral Ali Shamkhani held very important talks in a foreign country during the past few days.

And Tasnim International News Agency reported that the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council held very important talks in a foreign country over the past few days.


According to news sources, the imminent announcement of the results of these talks will cause important developments.


Then came the major announcement:


An Iranian-Saudi agreement to resume diplomatic relations and open embassies

In a joint statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia announced the agreement to resume dialogue and diplomatic relations, and to reopen embassies in the two countries within two months.


According to the joint statement, "the resumption of dialogue between Tehran and Riyadh comes in response to the Chinese president's initiative," during Iranian-Saudi meetings and negotiations that took place between March 6 and 10 in Beijing.


The two countries expressed their appreciation for China's hosting and support for the recent talks, and their gratitude to Iraq and the Sultanate of Oman for hosting the talks between the two sides during the years 2021 and 2022.


According to the statement, Tehran and Riyadh affirmed the principle of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of the two countries, and the implementation of the security cooperation agreement signed in 2001.


Iran, Saudi Arabia and China announced their intention to use all diplomatic efforts to promote regional and international peace and security.


And Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, stated that he had conducted intensive negotiations with his Saudi counterpart to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries once and for all.


Shamkhani added that Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi's visit to China led to "new and very serious" negotiations between the delegations of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He stressed that removing misunderstandings and looking towards the future in relations between Riyadh and Tehran "will certainly lead to strengthening regional security," expressing his appreciation for China's constructive role in supporting the development of relations between countries to enhance the level of international cooperation.

Shamkhani pointed out that the five rounds of negotiations that took place in Iraq and Oman were influential in reaching the final agreement in Beijing, appreciating the efforts of the two countries.

The foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia will meet to implement this agreement and make the necessary arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors soon.

*****

Since Xi's visit, observers became interested in China's role in the region asking if Will Beijing succeed in playing the role of mediator between Tehran and the Gulf states?


They noted that it is in China's interest to ease tensions between Iran and the Gulf states to ensure energy security and the success of the "Belt and Road" initiative, but it is not easy to succeed in that, as the United States of America will not allow the success of the Chinese initiative to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

*****

Before Raisi's visit to China, they noted that the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will visit China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping from February 14 to 16, and will meet his Chinese counterpart, in their second meeting after their first meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Organization summit in Uzbekistan last September. . This will be the first visit of an Iranian president to China since his election in 2021, and he will also be the first head of state to visit China in the Chinese New Year.


The Kuwaiti newspaper "Al-Jarida" had published several days ago an article in which it stated that preparations were underway for an upcoming visit by the Iranian president to Beijing. The day after the news was published, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani revealed President Raisi's upcoming visit to China.


The visit of the Iranian president to China comes after the statement of the Chinese-Gulf summit, which dealt with the disputed islands between Iran and the United Arab Emirates and the Iranian nuclear agreement, displeased Tehran, which summoned the Chinese ambassador there, and expressed its deep disturbance at what was stated in the summit statement.

In turn, the Chinese ambassador stressed his country's respect for Iran's territorial integrity, and considered that the goal of the Chinese president's visit to Riyadh is to balance relations, support peace and stability in the region, and use dialogue as a tool to solve problems.


To ease Tehran's anger, Beijing sent Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua to Iran, who, during his meeting with the Iranian president, stressed China's determination to develop its comprehensive strategic partnership with Iran.


And during the month in which the Chinese president visited Saudi Arabia, a Chinese consulate was opened in the Bandar Abbas region, and it voted against removing Iran from the United Nations Women's Committee.


"The resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a 'victory' for dialogue and peace," Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Wangyi said on Friday.


The Chinese Foreign Ministry quoted Wang as saying at the conclusion of the dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran that the resumption of relations is "great good news" in the current turbulent world.


Wang added that China will continue to play a constructive role in dealing with thorny issues in the world today and will show its "responsibility" as a major country.

Saudi Foreign Minister on the agreement with Iran: Our countries share one destiny and common denominators


Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said, "The resumption of relations between Riyadh and Tehran stems from our vision based on favoring political solutions."


Bin Farhan added that the countries of the region "are united by one destiny and common denominators, which make it necessary for us to participate together in building a model of prosperity and stability."


For his part, Musaed Al-Aiban, Saudi National Security Adviser, said that Saudi Arabia welcomes the Chinese president's initiative to develop relations between the Kingdom and Iran.


Al-Aiban pointed out that "the Saudi-Iranian agreement is the culmination of the discussions that took place during the current week," stressing that Riyadh was keen to make the agreement with Iran within the framework of fraternal ties, and was also keen to open a new page and adhere to international covenants.


According to the Saudi National Security Adviser, "The Saudi-Iranian agreement is a pillar in the development of relations between countries and the promotion of stability in the region."


As for the Iranian side, the Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said that the recent visit of the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, to China provided the basis for the formation of new and serious negotiations between the delegations of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Shamkhani added that the talks between the two countries were frank, transparent, comprehensive and constructive, indicating that removing misunderstandings and looking to the future in relations between Tehran and Riyadh will lead to the development of regional stability and security, and increase cooperation between the Gulf states and the Islamic world regarding managing existing challenges.

The visit also comes at a time of raging conflict between China and the United States of America, and the US Secretary of State postponing his visit to Beijing after the balloon crisis and the subjection of Iranian and Chinese companies to US sanctions.

US official reaction:

Reacting to the news,  a White House spokesman confirms that Washington is aware of reports about the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the communications coordinator in the US National Security Council, John Kirby, said: We welcome any efforts that help end the war in Yemen and reduce tension in the Middle East.

As for the American media, the Wall Street Journal considered that the agreement between the two countries represents a "diplomatic victory for Beijing, in a region where the United States has long dominated geopolitics."


Reactions from the region:

The former occupation prime minister, Naftali Bennett, attacked the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, against the background of the Iran-Saudi agreement, noting that it was "a resounding failure, stemming from the combination of political neglect, general weakness, and an internal conflict in the state."

Bennett pointed out that "the resumption of relations is a dangerous and dangerous development for Israel, and represents a political victory for Iran."

On the official Arab level, the Sultanate of Oman said: "We hope that the resumption of Saudi-Iranian relations will contribute to strengthening the pillars of security and stability in the region and consolidating positive and constructive cooperation that benefits all peoples of the region and the world."


The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the agreement reached between the two countries.


The Foreign Ministry indicated that "the efforts made by the Iraqi government in this context, through Baghdad hosting the dialogue rounds between the two sides, and the solid base it established for the dialogues that followed through the Sultanate of Oman and the People's Republic of China, leading to the moment of agreement, which will be reflected in the integration of relations between the two sides, and give A qualitative impetus in the cooperation of the countries of the region, with the aim of a framework that fulfills the aspirations of all parties and heralds the launch of a new phase.


 


Monday, February 20, 2023

Al-Assad from Muscat: The region is now more in need of the role of the Sultanate of Oman

    Monday, February 20, 2023   No comments

Today, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a working visit to the Sultanate of Oman, where he was received at the Royal Private Airport by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Sultan of Oman.

Al-Assad and Bin Tariq held an official session of talks at Al-Baraka Al-Amer Palace in Muscat, in the presence of the two official delegations, where the latter renewed his condolences to President Al-Assad and the Syrian people for the victims of the devastating earthquake, stressing his country's continued support for Syria to overcome the effects of the earthquake and the repercussions of the war and the siege imposed on the Syrian people.

For his part, Al-Assad expressed his deep thanks to the Sultan, the government and the brotherly Omani people, for their solidarity and standing with Syria and for sending relief aid, noting that the greatest thanks is for Oman's standing by Damascus during the terrorist war against it.


The talks also dealt with the bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries, and the areas of joint cooperation, where it was agreed between the two sides to strengthen and advance bilateral cooperation in all fields, and Al-Assad indicated that Syria and Oman have relations of mutual trust and an old and deep understanding.

Al-Assad considered that Oman has always maintained its balanced policies and credibility, and that the region "now more needs the role of the Sultanate of Oman in serving the interests of its people in order to strengthen relations between Arab countries on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference in the affairs of other countries."

For his part, Bin Tariq said that Syria is a brotherly Arab country, "and we look forward to its relations with all Arab countries returning to their natural context."

The official talks session was followed by a closed session of talks, then Al-Assad and his accompanying delegation left Muscat, concluding his working visit to the sisterly Sultanate of Oman. 

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