UAE reopens embassy in Damascus

UAE reopens embassy in Damascus
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi - The move underscores UAE's keenness to restore relations between the two countries.

By Reuters

Published: Fri 28 Dec 2018, 3:34 PM

The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus on Thursday, the latest sign of efforts to bring the Syrian government back into the Arab fold.
The UAE broke ties with Syria in February 2012, as the repression of nationwide protests demanding regime change was escalating into a devastating war.
Nearly seven years later, the UAE flag was raised again during a ceremony attended by diplomats and journalists. UAE's charge d'affaires Abdul Hakim Naimi visited the embassy and witnessed the country's flag being raised again on the compound in central Damascus.
"The opening of our embassy is a first step for the return of other Arab embassies," Naimi told reporters outside the compound.
A UAE foreign ministry statement said the country was keen to "restore relations between the two brotherly countries to their normal course, thus enhancing and implementing the Arab role in supporting the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic".
This move will also prevent the dangers of regional interference in Syrian affairs, the ministry statement said.
The UAE hopes that peace, security and stability would prevail throughout Syria.
Rumours of the UAE embassy reopening had circulated in recent days as renovation work was spotted getting under way at the building.
A visit to Damascus by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir earlier this month had been interpreted by some observers as a sign of regional efforts to end Assad's diplomatic isolation.
Syria was suspended from the Arab League in November 2011.
The past few days have seen a flurry of diplomatic activity that looks set to continue until the next summit of the Arab League, due in Tunis in March.
"Recent discussions on this issue have not yielded a consensus," Hossam Zaki, the League's deputy secretary general, told reporters in Cairo on Monday. "This does not rule out a possible change of the Arab position in the future," he added.
Ali Mamluk, Syria's intelligence chief and a key figure in the Assad regime, travelled to Egypt last week on an official visit.
With military operations winding down in several parts of the country and the capital fully secure, Damascus is also working on breaking its physical isolation.

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