UAE to reopen Syria embassy following seven-year hiatus


Bahrain announced on Friday it will resume operations at its embassy in Syria seven years after it shuttered its diplomatic mission in Damascus in the early days of the civil war, in the latest step by a Gulf Arab state to improve its relations with Syria.

The United Arab Emirates embassy in Damascus after its reopening, the latest sign of efforts to bring the Syrian government back into the Arab fold.

Most Arab countries closed their embassies in Damascus after the fighting began in 2011.

In October, Assad told a little-known Kuwaiti newspaper that Syria had reached a "major understanding" with Arab states after years of hostility.

UAE's charge d'affaires Abdul-Hakim Naimi on Thursday, visited the embassy, witnessed UAE's flag raising again in central Damascus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lobbied hard for Syria to be readmitted to the league of Arab Nations.

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Emad al-Nadaf, a Syrian political expert, told Xinhua that the resumption of the diplomatic relations between the UAE and Syria is an indication about the recovery of Syria, hoping that more countries would follow next.

- All eyes are on regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia, which could announce it is also reopening its embassy. But restoring ties with the government of President Bashar al-Assad seemed gradually occurring.

Bashir said Sudan is ready to provide whatever is needed to support the territorial integrity and unity of Syria.

He added that UAE through its presence in Damascus is trying to activate the Arab role in what would "contribute to ending war and strengthening opportunities for peace and stability for the Syrian people".

- The Beirut summit could act as a test run for the Arab League summit to be held in March 2019 in Tunis. However, Arab countries had also sanctioned Damascus and criticized its use of military forces against the opposition. Since then, most Arab countries have cut or downgraded their diplomatic relations with Syria.

This move will also prevent the dangers of regional interference in Syrian affairs.