Saudi Arabia appoints first envoy to Syria in more than a decade

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia appointed a new ambassador to Syria on Sunday, state news agency SPA said, the kingdom's first envoy to Damascus since the closure of the Saudi embassy there in 2012 during the Syrian civil war.

Riyadh's new ambassador to Syria will be Faisal Al-Mujfel, SPA said.

Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Syria earlier this year after the two countries cut diplomatic ties more than a decade ago.

Syria reopened its embassy in Riyadh last year and appointed a new ambassador in December.

The re-establishment of ties between Riyadh and Damascus marked the most significant development so far in moves by Arab states to normalize ties with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who was shunned by many Western and Arab states after Syria's civil war began in 2011.

(Reporting by Andrew Mills and Tala Ramadan; Editing by Toby Chopra)