UPDATES WITH DETAILS
By Ibrahim al-Khazen
ISTANBUL (AA) - Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad arrived in Cairo on Saturday, for the first such visit to Egypt in more than a decade.
Mekdad was welcomed by his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and the two ministers held a one-on-one meeting, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.
A ministry statement said the two ministers discussed means of advancing their bilateral relations and a host of regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Shoukry reiterated "Egypt's support to efforts aimed at reaching a comprehensive political settlement to the Syrian crisis at the earliest possible time,” the statement said.
The Egyptian minister also voiced support to UN efforts to reach consensus among Syrian people, build confidence, and continue the meetings of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, the statement said.
Mekdad, for his part, said he looks forward to more Arab solidarity with Syria in order to overcome its crisis, the statement said.
According to the statement, the two ministers agreed on intensifying channels of communication between the two countries with a view to tackling issues and matters of interest for both countries.
Mekdad’s visit was the first to Egypt since Syria’s membership in the Cairo-based Arab League was suspended in November 2011 following the regime’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
The top diplomats of Egypt and Syria had met in September 2021 in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings.
Shoukry had visited Damascus on Feb. 27 following the deadly earthquakes that rocked Syria and Türkiye and Syria on Feb. 6, killing thousands.
The Syrian regime exchanged official visits with several Arab countries in recent years amid reports about a possible resumption of Syria’s membership in the Arab League.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara