BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:50 P.M.) – Syria’s long-time Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Walid Mu’allem, passed away this week at the age of 79.
Syrian state TV broke the story on Monday about “the death of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Walid Al-Muallem,” pointing out that the Arab Republic mourns the loss of the late statesman.
The cause of death was not clear, and no other details were received.
Walid Al-Mu’allem was born in Damascus in 1941, and graduated from Cairo University in Egypt in 1963 with a BA in Economics and Political Science.
In 1975, he was appointed Syria’s ambassador to the Republic of Romania until 1980, when he was appointed director of the Documentation and Translation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1980 until 1984, and then director of the Private Offices Department from 1984 until 1990.
Mu’allem joined the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was appointed Syria’s ambassador to the United States and participated in the Syrian-Israeli peace talks from 1990 to 1999.
He assumed the position of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in January 2005, and in February 2006 he held the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs until his death today.
He wrote four books: Palestine and Armed Peace 1970, Syria in the Mandate Period from 1917 to 1948, Syria from Independence to Unity from 1948 to 1958 and The World and the Middle East in the American Perspective. He was married at the time of his death and had three children.
His funeral procession began the Al-Shami Hospital this afternoon and then moved to the Sa’ad bin Muadh mosque to be prayed upon before being buried in the Mezzeh cemetery of Damascus.