© Reuters. Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad meets with President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 19, 2023. Hamad Al Kaabi/UAE Presidential Court docket/Handout by way of REUTERS
DUBAI (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al Assad arrived within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday for an official go to, accompanied by his spouse Asma al Assad, at a time when extra Arab states have signalled openness to easing the isolation of Damascus.
The go to was marked with extra ceremony than his earlier journey to the UAE final yr, which had been his first to an Arab state for the reason that Syrian civil battle started in 2011, when Gulf states together with the UAE backed rebels combating to overthrow Assad.
State media stated he was met by President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan on arrival in Abu Dhabi on Sunday and acquired a canon salute as his convoy entered the royal palace. Assad’s aircraft was greeted by Emirati fighter jets.
“We held constructive talks geared toward growing relations between our two international locations,” Sheikh Mohammed later stated in a Twitter publish. “Our discussions additionally explored methods of enhancing cooperation to speed up stability and progress in Syria and the area.”
The Syrian presidency stated Asma al Assad, on her first recognized official go to overseas with Assad since 2011, would meet with Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak who’s the Emirati president’s mom and regarded within the UAE because the “Mom of the Nation”.
The UAE, a U.S. ally, has led a shift within the Center East in direction of reviving ties with Assad, who held talks in Oman final month on his first international journey for the reason that devastating earthquake hit Syria and Turkey, and visited Russia earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and, to a lesser extent the UAE, as soon as backed rebels towards Assad. However Abu Dhabi has rebuilt ties with Damascus lately regardless of U.S. objections because it appears to be like to counter the affect of Iran, which together with Russia, helped Assad flip the tide towards his opponents.
Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia, which just lately reached an settlement with rival Iran to revive bilateral ties, has opened the door for doable dialogue with Damascus particularly on humanitarian points, saying Arab consensus was constructing that isolating Syria was not working.
Qatar, like Washington, has voiced opposition to any strikes in direction of rehabilitating or normalising ties with Assad, citing his authorities’s brutality in the course of the battle and the necessity to see progress in direction of a political answer.
Lots of of hundreds of individuals have died within the Syria battle, which spiralled out of an rebellion towards Assad, drew in quite a few international powers, and splintered the nation.