Categories: World News

Syria’s Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem, Dies At 79

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 23, 2020 Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem holds a press conference on new US sanctions imposed on the country, in the capital Damascus. Syria’s foreign minister, Walid Muallem, died November 16, 2020 at dawn at the age of 79, the government announced on state television. LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

 

 

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, a stalwart of Bashar al-Assad’s regime who held his job through a decade of conflict and several reshuffles, died Monday at the age of 79.

The veteran diplomat, who had been foreign minister since 2006, started his career in the diplomatic service in 1964.

In 2012, a year after Syria’s deadly conflict started, he was also made deputy prime minister.

The government announcement did not specify the cause of his death but his health was understood to be deteriorating for some time.

His last public appearance was at the end of last week in Damascus for the opening of a conference on refugee returns. He looked weak and was helped into the hall by two men.

In press conferences, he was known for his mocking stances against the West, which he accused of conspiring to start Syria’s conflict.

He was targeted by US sanctions as early as August 2011, less than six months after the eruption of protests demanding regime change — demonstrations that the Syrian authorities brutally repressed.

Muallem has “continued to beat this drum of international conspiracy and has attempted to cover up the regime’s horrific activities by making claims that terrorists or others were responsible,” Washington said at the time.

During more than half a century in the foreign service, he held posts in Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

He was appointed ambassador to Romania in 1975, five years after Bashar al-Assad’s father Hafez came to power.

Muallem was Syria’s envoy in Washington throughout the 1990s and also led Damascus’ peace talks with Israel during that same period.

Muallem was a father of three children.

-AFP

Solomon Elusoji

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
Solomon Elusoji
Tags: Syria Walid Muallem

Recent Posts

  • World News

Trump Fires Top US Election Official

  Donald Trump on Tuesday fired the government's top election security official, who had rejected the president's unsubstantiated claims of…

9 mins ago
  • World News

US To Slash Troop Levels In Afghanistan, Iraq

  The US will slash troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to their lowest levels in nearly 20 years of war after…

9 hours ago
  • Info Tech
  • World News

Fake News: Facebook, Twitter Defend Actions Over US Election At Congress Hearing

  Facebook and Twitter defended their handling of US election misinformation at a heated congressional hearing Tuesday where one key senator…

9 hours ago
  • Politics

APC Defection: My Friend, Umahi Wants To Be President – Wike

  Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has slammed his Ebonyi State counterpart, Governor David Umahi, over his reasons for leaving…

10 hours ago
  • Politics

My Only Sin In PDP Is That I Refused To Castigate Buhari – Umahi

  Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Tuesday said he became an object of suspicion to the Peoples Democratic Party…

10 hours ago
  • Politics

PDP Dissolves Ebonyi Excos, South East Zonal Caretaker Committee

  The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has announced the dissolution of its Ebonyi State Executive Committee. PDP’s National Publicity Secretary,…

11 hours ago