UAE flag raised over reopened embassy in Damascus

31 December, 2018, 11:07 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • UAE 're-opens embassy in Syria' as Arab leaders begin to welcome Assad back from the cold

United Arab Emirates has resumed its diplomatic service at Damascus in Syria after six years of suspension signaling a thaw in the relations between the two countries, as also with the Arab world.

It underscored Bahrain's willingness to continue relations with Syria to maintain the latter's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and avert the hazards of regional interference in its internal affairs and progress.

All Gulf states had closed their embassies in Damascus after the Syrian crisis erupted in 2011.

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In October, Assad told a little-known Kuwaiti newspaper that Syria had reached a "major understanding" with Arab states after years of hostility. A Syrian passenger flight flew to Tunisia on Thursday for the first time in almost eight years. The same minister of the Emirates Gargash makes clear that there must be the "unanimous" consent of the entire Arab world on the possible return of Syria, while there are still three countries that oppose it.

Citing a source in the Syrian foreign ministry, Russian state media also said the UAE will officially open its mission in the country on Thursday afternoon. Most Gulf Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, with which Bahrain is closely aligned - broke off diplomatic ties after Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011.

Meanwhile, in December, United States President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops from Syria, clearing the path for Turkey to launch planned combat operations into northeastern Syria against an alliance of Kurdish and Arab groups that it views as an extension of an armed group fighting inside Turkey.

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The State Department announced in August it was canceling $230 million in aid earmarked for stabilization and early recovery efforts in northeast Syria.

The anti-Assad insurgents' last foothold is an arc of northwestern territory abutting Turkey, which still supports them. They now firmly control the Damascus region and several key trade routes in the country. In another potential lift for Assad, Trump also last week chose to withdraw US forces deployed in northern and eastern Syria in support of Kurdish-led militia.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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