20:56 GMT +311 December 2019
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    In this Sunday, July 26, 2015, file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria.

    Syria Has Reached a 'Major Understanding' With Hostile Arab States - Assad

    © AP Photo / SANA
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    Most Gulf nations have actively sought to oust President Assad’s government over the course of the multi-year conflict, providing opposition Islamist forces with arms and political support.

    The Syrian government has reached a “major understanding” with hostile Arab states, President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday, after receiving delegates from Gulf and Western countries over the past few months. 

    In an exclusive interview with Kuwait’s Al-Shahed newspaper on Wednesday, his first with a Gulf media outlet since 2011, Assad suggested relations with hostile regional powers are gradually improving and could be normalized, as the Syrian Army continues to reclaim territory in the war-torn country.

    READ MORE: Syria, Iran Agree to Continue Cooperation on Idlib on UNGA Sidelines — Damascus

    Meanwhile, commenting on the Syria crisis in an interview with Al-Arabiya, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said the Arab League should seek to “reclaim” a role in the matter.

    “Syria is an Arab country. Its people are Arabs and what happens there concerns us before any other nation. It is not correct that regional and international countries are looking into the Syrian issue and not us,” Bahrain’s foreign minister said.

    Syria was suspended from the Arab League in late 2011, as Gulf states ramped up their efforts to oust Assad’s government as part of their battle for regional dominance with Iran.

    However, some Gulf states, including Oman, and to a lesser extent, Bahrain, have maintained amicable relations with the Syrian government.

    Now, with Damascus setting about nationwide post-war reconstruction, some Syrian government officials have suggested Saudi Arabia and its regional allies should pay billions of dollars in reparations to Syria.

    READ MORE: US Says Will Not Force Iran Forces Out of Syria, Hopes Govt. Will Not Need Them


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