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Political analysts: Al-Bashir's visit to Syria aims to establish indirect contact with Syrian government

Editing: Obaida Al Nabwani |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Maan Salti
Publication date: 2018/12/17 15:33

Turkey - SMART

Political analysts said that the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's visit to Syria aimed to open indirect contact channels between several Arab and foreign countries and the Syrian government, adding that the reasons for the visit were not clear.

Bassam al-Quatli, a political analyst, told SMART that it is still early to speak of the reasons for al-Bashir's visit to Damascus, and that it is hard to expect what outcomes the visit might have.

Al-Quatli said that according to the mutual interest between Sudan and Saudi Arabia, "We can assume that Saudi Arabia requested the visit to open indirect contact channels with the Syrian government and observe the Arab public opinion about the visit."

Ashraf Abdul Baqi, a Sudanese journalist, told SMART that al-Bashir "carried a message that Arab countries wanted to send to the Arab community," adding that al-Bashir's visit aims to test the Arabs' reactions "to a possible normalization of relations with the al-Assad regime."

Oqab Yahya, a member of the political committee of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, expressed his discontent with al-Bashir's visit to Syria. Yahya told SMART that the visit probably carried a message from the Arab countries and the rest of the world, which attempt to open new, indirect communication channels with the Syrian government through al-Bashir, who is also internationally isolated.

Omar al-Bashir is the first Arab leader to meet with Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution in 2011, and is the third president to visit Syria during the revolution after the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Raul Khajimba, the President of Abkhazia, which the Syrian government recognized as an independent state in May 2018.

In November 2011, the Arab League suspended the membership of Syria, leaving the Syrian seat empty in all the league's meetings, except for the summit meeting in May 2013, when the President of the Syrian National Coalition at the time, Moaz al-Khatib, occupied Syria's seat.