Syria’s top diplomat is on a three-day official visit to Tunisia to restore diplomatic ties broken since 2012 during the civil war that followed President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown on mass protests against his rule.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad met his Tunisian counterpart Nabil Ammar shortly after arriving on Monday evening. No details were released on those talks or on Mr. Mikdad’s schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The visit aims to help restore bilateral relations, Tunisia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
This decision is a glaring example of the evolution of the situation in the region over the past decade.
Tunisia was the cradle of pro-democracy Arab Spring movements that spread to Syria in 2011 and has long been among Assad’s strongest critics. But today, Tunisian leaders are reverting to authoritarianism and allying themselves once again with Assad’s Syria.
Earlier this month, Tunisian President Kais Saied ordered the appointment of an ambassador to the Syrian capital, Damascus.
This decision follows that of the Syrian government to reopen its embassy in Tunis and appoint an ambassador.
In February, Mr Saied announced his decision to raise the level of the Tunisian diplomatic representation in Damascus, while stressing that the crisis facing the Assad government was “an internal matter that concerns only the Syrian people”.
The move came just as Tunisia was sending emergency humanitarian aid to Syria following the earthquake that killed tens of thousands in the country and neighboring Turkey.