UAE reopens Syrian embassy in Damascus

UAE reopens Syrian embassy in Damascus

President Assad told a Kuwaiti newspaper earlier this year that Syria had reached a "major understanding" with Arab states and claimed Western delegations had also visited Damascus with the intention of reopening their diplomatic missions.

Saudi-owned al Arabiya television confirmed the UAE Embassy reopening first reported by Syria's Information Ministry.

In a bid to bring the Syrian government back into the Arab fold and restore relations between the two friendly countries, the UAE has reopened its embassy in Damascus, according to WAM.

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. The UAE Foreign Ministry said its charge d'affaires assumed his duties on Thursday.

"Syria is a country in the heart of the Arab world and it's an indescribable country in the Arab world and this is an invitation to the Arab countries to return", he said.

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Zou Zhiqiang, a researcher from Shanghai International Studies University, said the reopening officially marks the beginning of Arab countries' reconciliation with the Syrian government. The UAE severed its ties with Syria in February 2012. There are also direct flights on Syria's national carrier to Dubai and between the port city of Latakia and the emirate of Sharjah.

Earlier this month, Sudanese President Omar Bashir became the first Arab head of state to visit Damascus since the start of the Syrian conflict, flying into Damascus airport.

With the reconciliation and resumption of diplomatic relations between the Arab countries and Syria, Zou said that it is also possible for Syria to return to the Arab League.

The UAE expressed its wish that peace, security and stability would prevail throughout Syria.

It is not yet clear if more Arab countries, several of which were accused by Assad of once supporting jihadists and rebels, will follow in the UAE's footsteps.

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