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UAE foreign minister meets Assad, in highest-profile Emirati visit to Syria since start of war

Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed, the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday in Damascus. The foreign minister is the most senior Emirati to visit the country since Syria’s war began in 2011. This is a signal of normalizing regional ties with other governments after the Syrian dictator’s brutal calming of an uprising caused his diplomatic isolation. This was also the most high-profile meeting between Assad and any Arab official since the meeting between Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Assad in 2019.

The diplomat discussed bilateral cooperation in fields of mutual interest of the two countries. Assad also thanked the UAS for their support through the challenges imposed by the war. Sheikh Abdallah has been a supported of Syria and opposed the US sanction regime against the Syrian government. The Damascus embassy was reopened in 2018 to promote reintegration of the Syrian government into diplomacy between other regional countries.

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