UAE attempts to normalize relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia

The following article draws part of its information from a report released by the Middle East Eye online news site.

There are emerging signs that two once very hostile Gulf State nations – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – are re-approaching the Syrian government in order to normalize relations. It is believed this is linked to a new Arab-orientated foreign policy by these countries aimed at countering the influence of Iran and Turkey in Syria.

Though both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are guilty of having heavily invested into the training and equipping of anti-Assad militant groups (in addition to providing political support), the clear victory of the Syrian Army in the now winding-down Syrian conflict and the emergence of Iran and Turkey (both non-Arab nations with very anti-Saudi agendas) as key shot-callers in Syria has forced a re-thinking of policy.

The new policy being considered is one of Arab unity (against Iran and Turkey) in an Arab world and to this end, other key Arab nations such as Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait are expected to join in the on the new regional initiative in which Syria is seen as an “Arab issue”.

So far, the warmest of feelers have come from the UAE’s government which is now openly considering reinstating its embassy in Syria; at the same time, UAE media has slowly changed its tone towards Syrian government forces, now referring to the ‘Syrian Army’ by its official name rather than the much politicized term  “Assad regime forces”.

The UAE is reportedly also serving as a third-party negotiator in behind-the-scenes reconciliation talks between the Syrian and Saudi governments for the normalization of the two countries’ political and economic ties. This may yet possibly include direct cooperation towards the end of countering Muslim Brotherhood activities (funded by Turkey and Qatar) in the Middle East.

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