Syrian-Saudi normalization seeks political re-emergence, regional influence

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Syria is actively pursuing Arab and Saudi normalization with the aim of breaking free from its political isolation within the Arab and international communities, according to a Syrian politician.

Issam Dimashqi, politician and member of the executive office of the Citizenship Movement in Syria, an opposition civilian-political organization, told North Press that the Syrian government was seeking to normalize relations with Arab states in general and Saudi Arabia in particular to put an end to its political isolation and secure much-needed funds for reconstruction.

On March 14, Faisal Mekdad, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Syria, met with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Saudi Arabia to enhance dialogue between the two countries.

In an exclusive statement to North Press, Dimashqi explained that the country is also keen on addressing its ongoing economic problems, which are rapidly pushing it towards a state of total collapse.

In contrast, Saudi Arabia has displayed a strong desire to adopt a new policy in the region, especially in Syria to obtain regional influence in the fragile country where the influence of other major players such as Iran, Russia, Turkey, and the United States, is steadily growing.

The politician indicated that Saudi Arabia is keen on playing a role in finding a solution to the Syrian crisis to mitigate the negative consequences that have spilled over into neighboring countries and to address the problem of drug smuggling which has become a significant social issue both in Saudi Arabia and the wider region.

As for the role of China, Iran, and Russia in the revival of Syrian-Saudi relations, Dimashqi explained that China, being an economic powerhouse, is actively striving to secure a political foothold commensurate with its economic standing, Iran, taking advantage of the weakened Western role in the region, has capitalized on the opportunity to exert significant influence, and Russia  has shown no explicit endeavor to normalize Syrian-Saudi relations.

He further mentioned that Russia has hindered the implementation of UNSC resolutions and has relied on alternative mechanisms such as Astana and Sochi processes in coordination with Turkey and Iran.

Issam Dimashqi concluded that the Syrian-Saudi normalization process reflects the respective goals of both countries, since Syria seeks political re-emergence and economic support, while Saudi Arabia aims to assert regional influence and address pressing issues.

By Shella Abdulhalim