Syria returns to Arab League: Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran hold high-level talks in Moscow

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Russia’s foreign minister on Wednesday hosted his counterparts from Turkey, Syria and Iran for talks that marked the highest-level contact between Ankara and Damascus since the start of the Syrian civil war over a decade ago.

It is the first time a Syrian Foreign Minister has met a Turkish counterpart in more than a decade.

In his opening speech, Lavrov expressed hope that the meeting would pave the way to drafting a road map for normalizing Turkish-Syrian relations.

Lavrov also wished Turkey a successful holding of general elections without outside interference.

Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections, taking place on Sunday, could stretch President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule into a third decade — or they could set the country on a new course.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia will reopen its diplomatic mission in Syria, the Saudi foreign ministry said on Tuesday (May 9), nearly a decade after diplomatic ties were cut and two days after Syria was readmitted into the Arab League.

Syria’s state news agency said Damascus has decided to resume the work of its diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia.

Contacts between them had gathered momentum following a landmark China-brokered deal to re-establish ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a key ally of Assad.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has invited Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to attend an Arab League summit in the Gulf country on May 19.

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