UAE to reopen Damascus embassy after 7 years

Hugh Fox
December 31, 2018

"The Kingdom of Bahrain has announced that work is continuing at its embassy in the brotherly Arab Republic of Syria", the foreign ministry statement carried by state news agency BNA said.

The United Arab Emirates will reopen its embassy in Damascus Thursday, an official said, seven years after it severed ties with Syria over the violent repression that triggered the war.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League back in 2011 during the time of the conflict, but nearly seven years later UAE raised its flag in Damascus again during a ceremony on Thursday. An Arab diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters last week he believed a majority wanted Syria to return to the League - with only three Egyptian state-run media have called for Syria to be reinstated.

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At The Baltimore Sun , for example, the usual comics and puzzles were not included in Saturday's print edition, the paper tweeted. The company worked to come up with a workaround to produce the newspapers, but there were some delays in delivery.

It turns out that Trump, under fire for suddenly announcing the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, was highlighting a commitment that the Saudis made several months ago.

Syria was expelled from the 22-member Arab League in 2011. The reopened embassy marks the first state of the Gulf Cooperation Council to resume diplomatic work in Syria.

In 2011, the Kingdom of Bahrain closed its embassy in Damascus following the Syrian uprising and subsequent crackdown on protesters by the Bashar al-Assad regime.

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The French, after all, knew their bases were vulnerable without the U.S. , and similarly must've assumed Turkey knew that as well. Manbij is a strategically important town in northern Syria that until today was under the control of US-backed Kurdish forces.

Syria, which has been diplomatically isolated - apart from support received from Iran, Turkey, and Russian Federation - since Assad began his brutal assault on rebel groups and civilians, is slowly being welcomed back into the arena of pan-Arab relations. Arab countries have sanctioned Damascus and condemned its use of military force against the opposition.

President Donald Trump said last week the United States would pull its troops out of Syria because the Islamic State terror group has been defeated, although some politicians and experts have disagreed on that claim.

Warming up to Assad is seen by some regional powers as a way of luring Syria away from the exclusive regional influence of Iran.

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