UAE reopens embassy in Syrian capital closed in 2011

UAE 're-opens embassy in Syria' as Arab leaders begin to welcome Assad back from the cold

The reopening of the United Arab Emirates embassy in Damascus is the most visible step so far of efforts to return Syria to the diplomatic arena.

In a statement, the ministry stressed "the Arab role" in preserving Syria's independence and preventing risky regional intervention in its affairs - an apparent reference to Iran's strengthened foothold there, the AP reported.

UAE's charge d'affaires Abdul-Hakim Naimi on Thursday, visited the embassy, witnessed UAE's flag raising again in central Damascus.

"This means that the relations are being put on the right track and we should look to the bigger image that not only the UAE is fixing the relation, but the other Gulf states as well through this embassy", he said. Emirati support has been associated with groups opposed to Islamist domination of the uprising.

With the exception of Oman, Gulf states closed their missions in Syria after the outbreak of the conflict in 2011, when President Bashar al-Assad's forces gunned down peaceful protesters.

The border crossing between Syria and Jordan, another USA -ally that backed the rebels, was reopened in October.

Also on Thursday, pro-government news outlets in Syria reported the first flight in years between Damascus and Tunisia's capital by Syria's private Sham Wings.

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He added that Syria will strongly be back to the Arab world.

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.

It noted that both Syria and Egypt aim to reactivate the Syrian-Egyptian relations first and the Arab relations in general.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lobbied hard for Syria to be readmitted to the league of Arab Nations.

The diplomatic thaw comes after the US announced plans to pull its troops from Syria.

The anti-Assad rebels' last foothold is an arc of northwestern territory abutting the border with Turkey, which still supports them.

The World Bank estimated it will cost approximately $250 billion to rebuild the country, and the United Nations as well as other worldwide bodies are unlikely to pay even a portion of this sum if Assad does not agree to an global peace process framework.

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