Why Did the UAE Come to Assad’s Aid and Ease Syria’s Isolation?

Why Did the UAE Come to Assad’s Aid and Ease Syria’s Isolation?

While so much attention is focused on Israel’s war in Gaza and its shockwaves across the Middle East, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is steadily reintegrating into the Arab world, despite still being shunned by the West as a pariah. Since Syria made its full-fledged return to the Arab League in May 2023, when Assad flew to Saudi Arabia to deliver a speech at the pan-Arab organization’s summit in Jeddah, Damascus’s regional rehabilitation has continued. The wealthy states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have taken the lead in bringing Assad back into the Arab diplomatic fold.

In January, a Saudi delegation visited Damascus in preparation for reopening the kingdom’s embassy in Syria, which has been closed for the past 12 years. Saudi Arabia is following the UAE, the main driver of Arab efforts to normalize relations with Assad’s regime. Abu Dhabi officially reopened its embassy in Damascus back in 2018, and in 2022, the UAE hosted Assad for a symbolic visit: his first trip to an Arab country since Syria’s popular uprising-turned-civil war began in 2011.

Read more: dawnmena.org

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