UAE Embassy in Damascus resumes diplomatic service

A man walks past a banner depicting Syrian president Bashar Al Assad in Douma outside Damascus Syria

A man walks past a banner depicting Syrian president Bashar Al Assad in Douma outside Damascus Syria

The Arab countries' restoring ties with government of Bashar Al-Assad takes place at a time when the Syrian government is finalizing its victory against terrorism and restoring peace and stability to the war-torn country. In fact, its flag was raised over the building on Thursday.

He did not name the Arab countries in the interview, which was his first with a Gulf paper since the war erupted, but said Arab and Western delegations had begun visiting Syria to prepare for the reopening of diplomatic and other missions.

Zou said the series moves also enhanced the legitimacy of the Syrian government, strengthened its political status, and correspondingly further weakened the status of the opposition forces.

Diplomats attending the event included Iraq's ambassador to Damascus, and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir became the first Arab leader to visit Syria since the war started.

UAE and Bahrain recently announced opening up their respective diplomatic missions in Damascus, the war-ravaged country's capital.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in November 2011, as the death toll was escalating and several regional powers bet on Assad's demise.

But almost eight years later, over half a million people are estimated to have died, and the war is nearing its end, Assad is being welcomed back.

He added that Syria will strongly be back to the Arab world.

"Recent discussions on this issue have not yielded a consensus", Hossam Zaki, the League's deputy secretary general, told reporters in Cairo on Monday. Yesterday, Tunisia resumed direct flights with Damascus, with some 150 Syrian tourists welcomed at the airport by supporters of President Al-Assad.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading regional efforts to counter what they see as Iran's growing influence in the region.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargah, said the country's decision came after a careful reading of developments and a conviction that the next phase requires Arab involvement to protect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Tehran has been a staunch supporter of Assad's government and has expanded its military footprint in Syria throughout the course of the conflict. However, U.S. support for the rebels appears to be largely over in the wake of President Trump's announcement last week that he is pulling out all U.S. troops from Syria.

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