Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has received the credentials of the Bahraini ambassador, nearly six months after the Persian Gulf kingdom appointed its first ambassador to Damascus, as the two countries move to shore up diplomatic ties that were downgraded in the foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria.
Bahrain’s state-run news agency BNA reported that Waheed Mubarak Sayyar submitted his credentials during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace on Sunday. Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Azzam were also in attendance.
The report added that the Bahraini ambassador conveyed the greetings of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah as well as Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifah, and their wishes for further progress and prosperity of the Syrian government and nation.
Assad, for his part, exchanged viewpoints on a number of topics and common areas of concern with the Bahraini envoy, and wished him success in his mission.
Bahrain was among a group of Persian Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, which broke off diplomatic ties with Syria and supported terrorists fighting against Assad.
Bahrain decided to shut down its embassy in Damascus and to withdraw all diplomats and staff on March 15, 2012.
Back on December 28, 2018, Bahrain re-opened its embassy in Syria after seven years.
Manama’s announcement came a day after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially resumed operations at its diplomatic mission in the war-torn country.
The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said at the time the reopening of its embassy “reaffirms the keenness of the UAE to restore relations between the two friendly countries to their normal course.”
The Bahraini officials explained their decision in an almost identical manner.
The Bahraini foreign ministry said in a statement, published on its website back then, that it decided to reopen its embassy in order to “strengthen the Arab role and activate it in order to preserve the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.”