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


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 obtained by UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in keeping with an announcement from Assad’s workplace.

Sheikh Mohammed mentioned in an announcement on Twitter that the 2 “held constructive talks aimed toward growing relations between our two nations.”

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 afterward civilians through the conflict.

Worldwide sympathy following the quake seems to have sped up the regional rapprochement that had been brewing for years. Earlier than 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 conflict 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. Nevertheless, analysts mentioned it’s unlikely to occur on any massive scale for now.

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

The World Financial institution mentioned Sunday that Syria’s actual gross home product is anticipated 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 impression to $5.2 billion. That’s on high of the preexisting damages from 12 years of conflict.

“Financial progress could contract additional if reconstruction progress is slower than anticipated, given restricted public assets, weak non-public funding, and restricted humanitarian help reaching the affected areas,” the Financial institution mentioned in an announcement.