Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad (left) meeting with Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Jeddah. Image Credit: AFP file

DAMASCUS: Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat is due to arrive in Damascus on Tuesday on the first visit by a Saudi official since the start of Syria’s civil war, Syria’s information ministry said.

“Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan is arriving at Damascus international airport today on an official visit to Syria,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said the Saudi minister was due to arrive in the afternoon.

The visit comes less than a week after Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad visited Saudi Arabia, also on the first such visit since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

In a meeting, Mekdad and his Saudi counterpart discussed “the necessary steps” to end Damascus’s isolation, according to a Saudi statement issued on Wednesday.

Over the past few months there has been increasing Arab engagement with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, who has been politically isolated in the region since the war broke out.

Also last week, Arab countries gathered in the Saudi city of Jeddah to discuss ending Syria’s long spell in the diplomatic wilderness, as regional relations shift following a decision by Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume ties.