Bahrain to follow UAE's suit, reopen Syria embassy

WEB Asad

WEB Asad

The UAE was one of several regional states that backed the groups fighting Assad, though its role was less prominent than that of Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey, rebel sources have said.

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

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said earlier that Damascus welcomed the resumption of work of Arab countries' embassies in Syria.

The moves are the latest indicators that some Arab countries are preparing to welcome Syria back into the fold after years of diplomatic isolation, which have seen the country expelled from the 22-member Arab League, and slapped with sanctions and condemnations of its use of military force against the opposition.

Other voices are also calling for reintegrating Syria in the Arab League and inviting President Assad to the Arab summit scheduled to take place in Tunisia. Gulf states have expressed concern about a growing role for Iran and Turkey in the future of Syria as the US reduces its clout. On the contrary, Assad's forces have further been bolstered by Iranian-backed Shia militias.

Bahrain closed its Damascus embassy in 2011 after the eruption of the Syrian uprising and subsequent crackdown on protesters by Syria's Assad regime. A man walks past his banner in Douma, outside Damascus on September 17, 2018.

UAE reopened its embassy yesterday, while Bahrian is reported to restore its diplomatic mission as soon as next week.

The UAE concluded that "the next stage requires the Arab presence and communication in the Syrian file", wrote Anwar Gargash, the country's foreign minister, on Twitter.

Assad recently told a Kuwaiti newspaper that Syria has reached a "major understanding" with Arab states after years of hostility. Its membership in the Arab League was suspended seven years ago.

The reopened embassy marks the first state of the Gulf Cooperation Council to resume diplomatic work in Syria.

Russian Federation helped Assad fight fires across the country and restore control over vast swathes of territory.

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