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Saudi interest in Syria shifts towards the Kurdish east

Omani state minister for foreign affairs Yusuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah’s 7 July visit to Damascus was the most high-level public visit to Syria by an official from a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member state for at least four years. It affirmed Muscat’s continued interest in being a regional interlocutor, as Bin Alawi met his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem and President Bashar Al-Assad. It repaid Muallem’s late 2018 visit to Oman, when the Syrian foreign minister praised Muscat’s “supportive positions towards Syria”.

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