Nov. 16 (UPI) — Walid al-Moalem, Syria’s long-time international minister and former ambassador to the US, died on Monday, in accordance with state-run media. He was 79.

Moalem was deputy prime minister earlier than changing into chief diplomat in 2006 and helped lead unsuccessful peace negotiations with Israel within the 1990s.

The state-run Syria Arab Information Company reported that Moalem died “at daybreak” on Monday and his physique was moved from al-Shami Hospital to his burial plot at al-Mezzeh cemetery.

The Syrian authorities did not point out a reason for demise.

Born in Damascus in 1941, Moalem graduated from Cairo College with a level in economics in 1963. He turned Syrian ambassador to Romania in 1975 and took a job within the international affairs ministry 5 years later.

Moalem served as ambassador to the US from 1990 to 1999 and have become Damascus’ deputy international minister in 2000.

Moalem was a part of a Syrian authorities that has established shut relations with Russia, notably in preventing opposition factions in search of Assad’s overthrow.

“That is very unhappy information,” Russian Deputy Overseas Minister Mikhail Bogdanov stated Monday “I’ve misplaced an in depth good friend within the Arab world.

“He was a dependable accomplice, a really educated man, diplomat and political determine. I used to be very keen on him personally and I’ve quite a lot of respect for him, we had 40 years of energetic communication again once I was working in Damascus and when he served as ambassador to Washington.”

Throughout Syria’s civil battle, he blamed the US and Western allies for supporting anti-Assad forces that he labeled as terrorists.