Iraqi minister, Bashar al-Assad discus regional developments

<p style="text-align:left">Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iraqi National Security Adviser Falih al-Fayaz on Saturday, December 29, in Damascus to discuss developments in the region.

According to Syrian state media broadcaster SANA, Fayaz personally conveyed a message from Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.
The two sides reportedly discussed bilateral cooperation, particularly on counterterrorism, with both Assad and Fayaz making the comparison between the increased territorial control of the regime in Syria and Iraq&rsquo;s victory over Islamic State last year.
Fayaz is currently Abdul Mahdi&rsquo;s nominee for interior minister, but his confirmation has run into trouble over the past several weeks with the Islah bloc in parliament strongly opposing him.
The visit comes at a time when countries in the region appear to be resuming normal diplomatic rations with Damascus.
On Thursday, the United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus, which was shuttered in 2011. Bahrain followed suit the following day.
Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir became the first Arab head of state to visit Damascus since the start of the Syrian conflict, according to Reuters.
The Arab Parliament earlier this month called for Syria to be reinstated, echoing calls made in Egyptian state-run media for several months. The secretary general of the Arab League, veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in April said the decision to suspend Syria had been &ldquo;hasty.&rdquo;
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