Beirut: Bahrain appointed on Thursday its first ambassador to Syria in more than a decade, the island nation’s state news agency reported, the latest sign of a stepped-up outreach to Damascus by Gulf Arab countries.
The decree by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Eisa Al Khalifa came as more Arab countries are improving relations with Damascus nearly 11 years since the outbreak of Syria’s civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands and destroyed large parts of the country.
The Bahrain News Agency said the king appointed Waheed Mubarak Sayyar as the kingdom’s “ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Syria.’’ The embassy of Bahrain was reopened in Damascus in 2018.
The king’s decree takes immediate effect, it added.
Sayyar has served as undersecretary of the Bahraini Foreign Ministry for Regional Affairs and Gulf Cooperation Council since September 2015. He had also served as his country’s ambassador in Qatar.
The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership at the regional organisation in 2011 months after the conflict broke out there.
Several countries withdrew their diplomatic missions or downgraded their links with war-torn Syria. Bahrain reopened its embassy in Damascus in December 2018.
Oman was the first Gulf country to send its ambassador to Damascus last year amid rapprochement to Syria