By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Syria is formally breaking diplomatic ties with Ukraine in response to a similar move by Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.
Syria a strong ally of Russia is believed to act in solidarity with Russia.
Russia joined Syria’s conflict in September 2015 helping to the balance of power in favour of President Bashar Assad.
In late June, Damascus said it would recognize the “independence and sovereignty” of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which Russia says it seeks to “liberate”.
Syria becomes the first country to recognize the two breakaway states’ independence, which led Ukraine to sever ties with it.
“The Syrian Arab Republic has decided to break diplomatic relations with Ukraine in conformity with the principle of reciprocity,” a Syrian Foreign Ministry statement said.
It said that Ukraine had in reality ruptured relations with Syria in 2018, when it refused to revalidate residencies of Syrian diplomatic staff in Kyiv, making it impossible for them to carry out their duties.
It said that the Syrian embassy at that time suspended its duties “as a result of the hostile attitudes of the Ukrainian government.”
Wednesday’s announcement came as Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad was in Tehran to meet with Iranian officials, a day after a summit meeting between the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey was held in Tehran.
In only his second trip abroad since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Putin conferred with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the conflict in Syria.