Syria’s Assad in UAE for second post-quake Gulf visit | Syria’s War News

The trip – Mr. al-Assad’s second to the oil-rich country in years – follows a visit to Oman last month.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has arrived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for his first visit to the Gulf state since a devastating earthquake struck Turkey and Syria last month.

The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, welcomed Mr al-Assad and his wife Asma in the capital Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the official news agency WAM said, ahead of the meetings. meeting seniors at the presidential palace.

Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement on Twitter that the two “have held constructive talks aimed at developing relations between our two countries”.

“Our discussions also explored ways to strengthen cooperation to promote stability and progress in Syria and the region,” added Sheikh Mohammed.

The trip – Mr. al-Assad’s second to the oil-rich country in years – follows a visit to Oman last month. These two trips are his only official engagements in Arab countries since the start of the Syrian war in 2011.

Abu Dhabi, which normalized relations with the internationally isolated government of Mr. al-Assad in 2018, contributed to aid efforts after the 6 February earthquake hit the southeast. Turkey and northern Syria, killing tens of thousands of people.

The Syrian president said Ms Asma, on her first known foreign official visit to al-Assad since 2011, will meet Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the mother of the president of the United Arab Emirates and considered the “Mother of the Nation” in the United Arab Emirates.

The visit marks a continuation in the ongoing thaw between Syria and other Arab nations, more than a decade after the 22-member Arab League suspended Damascus’ membership due to the conflict. al-Assad’s repression of protesters and later civilians during the war.

The international sympathy after the earthquake seems to have prompted the resumption of relations in the region that had been cherished for many years.

“The UAE’s approach and efforts towards Syria are part of a deeper vision and broader approach to strengthen Arab and regional stability,” said senior adviser to the president of the United States. United Arab Emirates Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

“The UAE position is clear on the need for Syria to return” to its place in the Arab world and regain legitimacy in the region, Gargash said on Twitter.

“This was confirmed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed during his meeting today” with al-Assad, the adviser added.

The United Arab Emirates has pledged more than $100 million in assistance for the Syria earthquake, by far the largest amount for any single country.

It has also dispatched a search and rescue team, delivering thousands of tons of emergency relief and medical treatment to victims of the Syrian earthquake in hospitals in the United Arab Emirates.

And the UAE’s foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, last month became the first senior Arab official to visit Syria since the earthquake.

United Arab Emirates analyst Abdulkhaleq Abdulla said Abu Dhabi “along with many Arab states firmly believes that the time has come to reconcile with Assad… and see Syria return to the League of Nations. Arabia and the Arab bloc”.

“The UAE is at the forefront of efforts to reconcile with the enemies of the past and transform them into the friends of tomorrow,” Abdulla told AFP news agency.

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