Aleppo, Asharq Al-Awsat-Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that “Syrian-Saudi relations are warm and those who were not pleased by the holding of the Syrian-Saudi summit are found in Lebanon and elsewhere.”
Al-Muallem was commenting on reports in some Lebanese media outlets that Syrian-Saudi relations became lukewarm after the Syrian-Saudi summit. Regarding Syria’s stand on Turkey’s decision to cancel the air exercises with Israel, Al-Muallem said Syria “supports and encourages Turkey in such measures because of the continued aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza and continued occupation of the Arab territories.” He added that it was natural for Syria to welcome such a decision because, as Turkey’s neighbor, it is worried by these exercises “and it is natural for Syria to be pleased because Israel continues to attack the Palestinian people and Al-Aqsa Mosque and is continuing its blockade of Gaza and impeding the peace process.”
Al-Muallem made these remarks on the sidelines of the first meeting of the ministers of the Higher Syrian-Turkish Strategic Cooperation Council. The Syrian foreign minister told Asharq Al-Awsat that Syria is open to strong strategic relations with Turkey and the bonds between the two countries are strong due to geography, history, and social ties.
Syria and Israel began indirect peace talks through Turkey in May 2008.
But they were suspended last December after Israel launched a 22-day war on the Gaza Strip that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.