UAE FM Meets Syrian President in 1st Visit in More Than a Decade
By Staff, Agencies
The United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister traveled to Damascus and met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, over a decade after Abu Dhabi cut ties with the fellow Arab country in the wake of a foreign-sponsored crisis there and began supporting the militant groups operating against the Syrian government.
The visit came on Tuesday, when the Emirati top diplomat Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited the Syrian capital at the head of a ranking political delegation, state-run SANA news agency reported.
The meeting addressed the issue of the bilateral relations and expansion of bilateral cooperation in various areas of mutual interest.
Assad laid emphasis on the existence of “brotherly and strong” relations between Syria and Emirates from the time of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s late founder.
He thanked Abu Dhabi over its “realistic and correct” stances concerning the Syrian Arab Republic.
According to observers, the meeting serves to underline the regional Arab states’ interest in resuming their normal relations with Syria that— together with its allies — has done much in the way of emerging from the ruins of almost a decade of foreign-backed militancy and terrorism.
Previously, the United Arab Emirates was one of a series of Arab regimes that backed foreign-sponsored militants operating to topple the Assad government; however, when the Syrian government recaptured much of the country, those Arab countries have been making overtures to Damascus.
The Emirati official, for his part, stressed his country’s support from efforts aimed at reestablishment of stability in Syria, saying what happened to the Syrian nation affected all other Arab countries, too.
Al Nahyan, however, expressed confidence that “Syria, under the leadership of President al-Assad, and the efforts of its people, is able to overcome the challenges imposed by the war, noting that his country is always ready to offer assistance to the Syrian people,” SANA wrote.