October 5, 2018 - 11:35 AMT
Syria reaches understanding with "hostile Arab nations" - Assad

The Syrian government has reached a “major understanding with hostile Arab state", President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday, October 3 after receiving delegates from Gulf and Western countries over the past few months.

In an exclusive interview with Kuwait’s Al-Shahed newspaper on Wednesday, his first with a Gulf media outlet since 2011, Assad suggested relations with hostile regional powers are gradually improving and could be normalized, as the Syrian Army continues to reclaim territory in the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, commenting on the Syria crisis in an interview with Al-Arabiya, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said the Arab League should seek to “reclaim” a role in the matter.

“Syria is an Arab country. Its people are Arabs and what happens there concerns us before any other nation. It is not correct that regional and international countries are looking into the Syrian issue and not us,” Bahrain’s foreign minister said.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in late 2011, as Gulf states ramped up their efforts to oust Assad’s government as part of their battle for regional dominance with Iran.

However, some Gulf states, including Oman, and to a lesser extent, Bahrain, have maintained amicable relations with the Syrian government.

Now, with Damascus setting about nationwide post-war reconstruction, some Syrian government officials have suggested Saudi Arabia and its regional allies should pay billions of dollars in reparations to Syria.