Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Arab consensus required for Syria's return to the Arab League

Arab consensus required for Syria's return to the Arab League

The embassy has been shut since the early months of Syria's conflict, which erupted in 2011.

Unlike its neighbors, Oman maintained diplomatic ties with Damascus while Kuwait opposed arming rebels fighting to topple the Bashar al-Assad government and has led a humanitarian fundraising campaign for Syria through the United Nations.

Iraqi Ambassador Saad Muhammad Rida told reporters upon leaving the opening ceremony that the raising of the UAE flag and the opening of the embassy in Damascus is an invitation to all Arab countries to return to Damascus.

In 2011, Syria was evicted from 22-member Arab League.

Assad has vowed to recoup control of the entire country.

On Thursday, the Syrian private Sham Wings Airlines made its debut flight to Tunisia with 150 Syrian passengers onboard, marking the first such trip between both countries in several years, according to Syria's SANA news agency.

Ali Mamluk, Syria's intelligence chief and a key figure in the Assad regime, travelled to Egypt last week on an official visit. Arab countries sanctioned Damascus and condemned its use of military force against civilians.

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At the time analysts told Xinhua that the visit could be a prelude to restoring normal Arab relations with Syria.

The UAE said the move aimed to normalise ties and to curb risks of regional interference in "Arab, Syrian affairs" - an apparent reference to non-Arab Iran, whose support for Assad has been critical to his war effort.

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Tehran has been a staunch supporter of Assad's government and has expanded its military footprint in Syria throughout the course of the conflict. That is when the State Department announced that Saudi Arabia had committed $100 million to a fund to stabilize areas of Syria liberated from ISIS terrorists by a USA -led coalition.

The diplomatic thaw comes after the USA announced plans to pull its troops from Syria.

US President Donald Trump claimed on Monday that Saudi Arabia, Iran's regional arch foe, had agreed to finance Syria's huge reconstruction needs.

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