Jordan will host Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and his regional counterparts on Monday, as various Arab states look to rekindle ties with Damascus. The kingdom will host the foreign ministers of Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria, state news agency Petra announced. The meeting follows a similar gathering held in Jeddah early this month and ‘builds on the contacts that these countries made with the Syrian government’, Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sinan Majali. There was no immediate comment from Damascus. Several Middle Eastern countries have held meetings with Syrian representatives in the past month as Damascus looks to emerge from its decade-long isolation. Ankara said “constructive talks” were held with Syria last week as it looks to repair relations with its southerly neighbour, while Tunisia appointed its new ambassador to Damascus on Thursday. Foreign ministers of the Gulf Co-operation Council and Egypt, Iraq and Jordan met in Jeddah earlier this month, agreeing Arab states must lead the way in brokering a solution to the Syrian crisis. Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 over the government’s violent crackdown on protests against President Bashar Al Assad’s rule. The protests escalated into a civil war that has claimed more than half a million lives and forced about half of the population from their homes, including millions who fled to neighbouring countries.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon