FA Minister: Syria's return to the Arab League needs Arab consensus

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

Bahrain resumed operations at its embassy in Syria, which has been shut since 2011.

The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus, Syria, on Thursday, marking the first official acknowledgment by regional adversaries of Syrian President Bashar Assad that he has won the nearly eight-year civil war to dislodge him. It added that the move is "to activate the Arab role in supporting Syria's independence, sovereignty, unity and safety and prevent the dangers of regional intervention in Syria's Arab affairs".

Syria's allied in the Gulf are reportedly working bring Damascus back into the Arab League, over eight years after the country was kicked out for its brutal response to peaceful demonstrations. An Arab diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters last week he believed a majority wanted Syria to return to the League - with only three Egyptian state-run media have called for Syria to be reinstated. In another potential lift for Assad, Trump also last week made a decision to withdraw USA forces deployed in northern and eastern Syria in support of Kurdish-led militia.

"Syria is a country in the heart of the Arab world and it's an indispensable country in the Arab world and this is an invitation to the Arab countries to return", he said. 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.

In recent years, however, the Syrian army has won a series of key military victories with the help of Russian Federation and Iran.

President Donald Trump said last week the United States would pull its troops out of Syria because the Islamic State terror group has been defeated, although some politicians and experts have disagreed on that claim.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading regional efforts to counter what they see as Iran's growing influence in the region.

It noted that both Syria and Egypt aim to reactivate the Syrian-Egyptian relations first and the Arab relations in general. The Syrian president estimates his country needs $250 billion to $400 billion to rebuild, according to Russia's state-owned TASS news agency.

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