Thaw in Syria-UAE Ties, Abu Dhabi to Reopen Embassy in Damascus After 7 Years
Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad taking out a procession | File Image | (Photo Credits: Getty)

Damascus, December 27: The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which once funded the opposition fighters locked in a brutal civil war with the Bashar-al-Assad regime, has indicated a thaw in ties with the Syrian government. In an unprecedented move, Abu Dhabi has decided to reopen its embassy in Damascus -- which was shutdown in 2011.

Speculations of the Emirati embassy reopening in Syria were making rounds over the past few days, as the structure which housed the erstwhile UAE High Commission was being renovated. The confirmation was received on Thursday from the Syria's information ministry, which has invited journalists to attend an event scheduled to be attended by two Emirati diplomats. Donald Trump Defends Syria Move on Surprise Visit to Troops in Iraq.

The resumption of UAE-Syrian diplomatic ties comes days after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visited Assad -- making it the first bilateral visit of a world leader to the war-torn nation in the last 7 years.

UAE and Sudan had earlier appeared on the side of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar -- the three regional powers which were firm on bringing down the Assad government for the "gross human rights' violations" in Syria.

However, Iran -- the arch-rival of Saudi Arabia -- backed Assad. The latter was also supported by Russia, which proved critical in turning the tides against the US-Arab-backed rebels in Syria.

Apart from Sudan and the UAE, another Arab nation - Egypt - has signalled the resumption of ties with Syria. The nation has also proposed for the re-inclusion of the Assad government in the Arab League -- from which Damascus was removed in 2011.

Veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who is the secretary-general of the Arab League, said Syria could be re-inducted as early as March next year -- when the conglomeration is scheduled to convene in Tunisia. Gheit also expressed regret over Damascus' exclusion 7 years ago, saying the move was taken in "haste".

Assad, over the past couple of years, has succeeded in reclaiming most swathes of territory overtaken by the Free Syrian Army, Islamic State and Israel. The final set of rebel enclaves near Damascus were crushed in a heavy military campaign earlier this year.