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Syria appoints new ambassador to Saudi Arabia after 11 years

Ayman Soussan, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in Syria, is sworn in as the country’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia before Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on December 6, 2023.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed Ayman Soussan, who has been serving as deputy foreign minister, as the country’s new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, following the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries after more than a decade.

Syria’s state-run news agency SANA said in a statement on Wednesday that Soussan was officially sworn in before Assad during a ceremony attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.

Sousan will be the first Syrian ambassador to be dispatched to Saudi Arabia since 2012, thus completing the steps to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, Maher Baddour also took the legal oath as Syria’s Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.

Later, President Assad received the two ambassadors and wished them success in their missions.

Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Damascus and withdrew all diplomats in March 2012.

Back in May, the two countries agreed to resume diplomatic relations and re-open embassies.

In the same month, the Arab League, a 22-member intergovernmental organization of Arab states, agreed to welcome Syria back into the fold with immediate effect after more than a decade.

Syria was one of the six founding members of the Arab League in 1945. The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, citing an alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests.

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