Syrian FM Makes First Visit to Saudi Arabia Since 2011

    Photo: Saudi Press Agency/Handout [via Reuters]

    The Facts

    • Syria's Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad arrived in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Wednesday after reportedly being invited by his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, as relations between Damascus and the Arab world move toward normalization.

    • The Saudi Foreign Ministry reported that the two ministers were expected to discuss a political solution to the Syrian crisis "that preserves the unity, security, and stability of Syria," facilitates the return of Syrian refugees, and ensures humanitarian aid access.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It's no surprise that Arab dictatorships, which are some of the most brutal authoritarian regimes in the world, are rushing to rehabilitate Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship in Syria. Though Assad butchered his own people with barrel bombs and chemical weapons, now that supporting the opposition to his rule is not politically expedient, the Gulf monarchies are more than happy to bring him back to the Arab fold.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Though imperialist forces in the region, namely the US, are trying to sabotage Syria's return to the Arab fold, the path to normalization seems quite certain at this point. Though the West, alongside its regional cronies in the Gulf, waged war against Syria and Assad's government, it's time to move past this and look to the future in a multipolar world order that's not dictated by the whims of the West.

    Cynical narrative

    Though it's apparent that Assad is a criminal and a butcher, the West and its allies' posture toward his regime has bore no fruit in terms of ending Syria's conflict. Ultimately, after 12 years of war, Assad, alongside Russian and Iranian support, has essentially defeated the opposition, and it's time to allow for his regime to re-enter the Arab fold, regardless of how the US feels about it. Syria, though a brotherly nation, will likely be held at arm's length for the foreseeable future nonetheless.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter