Bahrain confirms ongoing work of its embassy in Syria

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

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

The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus on Thursday, marking a big diplomatic boost for President Bashar al-Assad from a USA -allied Arab state that once backed rebels fighting him.

"The Kingdom of Bahrain has announced that work is continuing at its embassy in the brotherly Arab Republic of Syria", the foreign ministry statement carried by state news agency BNA said.

Notably, the move by Bahrain comes shortly after the United Arab Emirates, too, announced its decision to reopen its embassy in Syria.

In his recent remarks, Syria's deputy foreign minister said: "We welcome any step for the return of all Arab embassies to Syria". He did not name the Arab countries in the interview, which was his first with a Gulf paper since the war erupted, but said Arab and Western delegations had begun visiting Syria to prepare for the reopening of diplomatic and other missions. Yesterday, Tunisia resumed direct flights with Damascus, with some 150 Syrian tourists welcomed at the airport by supporters of President Al-Assad.

During his visit, the Sudanese president highlighted his country's support to Syria.

Ali Mamluk, Syria's intelligence chief and a key figure in the Assad regime, travelled to Egypt last week on an official visit.

Donald Trump visits troops in Iraq
But for the last few months, Trump has indicated that he planned to reverse course and tighten the Defense Department's belt. Troops will receive a 2.6 percent - not 10 percent - pay hike for 2019; they got a 2.4 percent pay hike in 2018.

"Syria is a major Arab country in the region", Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa tweeted on Friday.

Egyptian state-run media have called for Syria to be reinstated.

These positive developments in the Arab atmosphere toward Syria come as such relations have largely stranded over the past seven years due to the Syrian war.

Emad al-Nadaf, a Syrian political expert, told Xinhua that the resumption of the diplomatic relations between the UAE and Syria is an indication about the recovery of Syria, hoping that more countries would follow next.

Ex-United States ambassador to Syria in 2011, Robert Ford said: "I think they are hoping that over time that by financial and diplomatic re-engagement with Damascus, they can reduce Iranian influence".

In November, the Assad regime said it would welcome moves by any Arab state to reestablish formal relations.

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