UAE minister: Syria should recover its place in the Arab world

The re-opening of the UAE embassy in Damascus will help to ensure that Syria recovers its place in the Arab world, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said on Wednesday.

“We decided to re-open our embassy in Damascus to ensure that Syria returns to the Arab region,” he said during a joint press conference with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE closed its embassy in Damascus in the early phase of the Syrian conflict. After six years, in December 2018, they announced the reopening in a move that has been seen as a sign of thawing relations between the Syrian government and the rest of the Arab world after years of diplomatic isolation. Two months earlier Mr Al Assad told a Kuwaiti newspaper that Syria had reached a “major understanding” with Arab states.

“The re-opening of the embassy is just the start of this journey,” Shiekh Abdullah told reporters. “We are still in the beginning stages”.

“It is vital to analyse the situation in Syria, how the situation developed and the decisions taken that impacted the crisis,” he said.

With the near-defeat of ISIS in eastern Syria and the recapturing of a large portion of the country by President Bashar Al Assad’s forces, Syria is seemingly close to beginning a new chapter.

This, said Sheikh Abdullah, will require Arab involvement to protect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We want to see a Syria that is part of the region.”

The National.

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