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Sudanese president's visit prelude for restoring Syria, Arab relations

Sudanese president's visit prelude for restoring Syria, Arab relations

The two leaders held talks in the presidential palace about developments in the region and in Syria.

Sudan's Omar al-Bashir received by Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus Airport.

The visit is the first of any regional head since the Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011 in response to the Syrian government's brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Photographs released by SANA showed them shaking hands at the airport in front of a Russian jet that appears to have brought the Sudanese president to Syria.

The United States said Monday it was no longer seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but renewed warnings it would not fund reconstruction unless the regime is "fundamentally different", Trend reports referring to. Russia, a key ally of Assad, maintains an airbase southeast of the Syrian city of Latakia.

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SANA quoted al-Bashir as saying during his meeting with Omar Al Bashir that he hopes Syria will recover its important role in the region as soon as possible. Also, he stressed that Sudan supports Syria and its security, and is prepared to provide all that it could to support Syria's territorial integrity. However, there have been growing calls in the Arab world in recent months to normalize ties with Syria and give it back its seat in the Arab League, Reuters said.

Al-Bashir arrived in the afternoon and left the country hours later in the evening. Many Arab countries have shunned Assad since the conflict that began early in 2011 after protests calling for his downfall swept Syria.

The interview came on the heels of a surprisingly warm meeting between the Syrian foreign minister and his Bahraini counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September in NY.

"If it is a democratic election, and if it is a credible one then everybody should consider (working with him)", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at the Doha Forum in Qatar's capital when asked whether Turkey would work with Assad.

Al-Bashir has been Sudan's leader since 1989 and is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands to face war crimes charges stemming from a conflict in his own country.