Syria’s Assad in UAE to mark ongoing thaw in relations


BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived within the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, his first go to to the rich Gulf nation for the reason that devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria final month.

Assad, who arrived along with his spouse, Asma, and a delegation of Syrian officers, was acquired by UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in accordance with an announcement from Assad’s workplace.

Sheikh Mohammed stated in an announcement on Twitter that the 2 “held constructive talks aimed at developing relations between our two countries.”

The go to marks a continuation within the ongoing thaw of relations between Syria and different Arab nations, greater than a decade after the 22-member Arab League suspended Damascus’ membership over Assad’s brutal crackdown on protesters and in a while civilians in the course of the battle.

International sympathy following the quake seems to have sped up the regional rapprochement that had been brewing for years. Before the tragedy, the UAE had already reestablished ties with Damascus. Assad’s first go to to the UAE for the reason that 2011 outbreak of the Syrian civil battle was final 12 months, adopted by one other go to in January of this 12 months.

After the earthquake, the UAE’s international minister visited Damascus, and the Gulf nation despatched dozens of help shipments to Syria.

Damascus hopes that the regional reconciliation will unlock long-awaited funds to rebuild the battered nation. However, analysts stated it’s unlikely to occur on any massive scale for now.

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One key barrier: Syria has not applied U.N. Security Council decision 2254 adopted in December 2015 as a street map to peace in Syria. Acceptance of the street map is a key demand of the U.S and the European Union for normalizing relations with Damascus.

The World Bank stated Sunday that Syria’s actual gross home product is predicted to contract by 5.5% in 2023 following the earthquake, with bodily damages estimated at $3.7 billion and financial losses at $1.5 billion, bringing the entire estimated affect to $5.2 billion. That’s on prime of the preexisting damages from 12 years of battle.

“Economic growth may contract further if reconstruction progress is slower than expected, given limited public resources, weak private investment, and limited humanitarian assistance reaching the affected areas,” the Bank stated in an announcement.

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