Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem, a top diplomat and staunch defender of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s violent crackdown on peaceful protesters that soon deteriorated into civil war is dead.
The veteran diplomat, who had been foreign minister since 2006 died early Monday morning at the age of 79.
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.
Al-Moallem is survived by his wife, Sawsan Khayat and three children, Tarek, Shatha and Khaled.