Syria foreign minister makes first Egypt visit in over 10 years

Syria’s foreign minister met his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo on Saturday, the first such visit in more than a decade and the latest sign of Arab states mending ties with President Bashar al-Assad.

Faisal Mekdad was embraced by Sameh Shoukry as he arrived at the Egyptian foreign ministry, the first official trip since before the uprising and conflict that began in Syria in 2011.

President Assad was shunned by many Western and Arab states due to the war in Syria, which splintered the country and left hundreds of thousands of people dead.

In 2011, Syria was suspended from the Arab League and many Arab states pulled their envoys out of Damascus.

Some countries are questioning the possible rehabilitation of ties with Assad, citing his government’s actions during the conflict and the need to see progress towards a political solution in Syria.

Egypt’s foreign ministry published pictures of the two ministers in a closed meeting before a wider discussion.

Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the talks were aimed at strengthening relations between the two states.

Egypt’s Shoukry visited Syria and Turkey in February after the devastating earthquakes there.

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