Oman ‘doing all it can’ to help end Syria conflict

Friday 23/10/2015
Discreet diplomacy has contributed to several breakthroughs

DAMASCUS - Oman's foreign minister said his country was doing all it could to help bring about a solution to the Syrian crisis in a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus in Monday, the Syrian state news agency said.

Yusuf bin Alawi and Assad discussed regional and international ideas that have been put forward to address the Syrian crisis, SANA said.

Alawi stressed the importance of the unity and stability of Syria and said his country "is continuing to make all efforts possible to help find a solution to the crisis in Syria", SANA said.

Assad reiterated that "elimiating terrorism" would help the success of any political track in Syria, the agency added.

Assad met with Alawi in Damascus on Monday, in a rare visit for a Gulf official since Syria's conflict broke out, state media reported.

"The Syrian people ... welcome the sultanate's sincere efforts to help Syrians realise their aspirations in a way that preserves the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Assad said.

Oman has not cut diplomatic or political ties to Damascus, unlike other Arab countries in the Gulf.

In August, Syria's top diplomat Walid Muallem met with Alawi in Muscat, in the foreign minister's first visit to the Gulf since the brutal war began in 2011.

Oman's discreet diplomacy has contributed to several breakthroughs this year, including the release in August of a French hostage held in Yemen and the July nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.

Oman sees itself as a conciliator in a volatile region and has a history of constructive relations with Syria's close ally Iran.