Bahrain to reopen Damascus embassy: Foreign Ministry

Bahrain to reopen Damascus embassy: Foreign Ministry

Bahrain to reopen Damascus embassy: Foreign Ministry

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership in 2011.

The move has provided a major boost to Assad, who military have yet won series of victories in recent years with help from Iran and Russian Federation. A week later, the Nassib border crossing between Jordan and Syria officially opened to civilians and trade for the first time since it was closed three years ago.

With military operations winding down in several parts of the country and the capital fully secure, Damascus is also working on breaking its physical isolation. A foreign ministry statement 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 Al-Assad has been critical to his war effort. The secretary-general of the Arab League, veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said in April that the decision to suspend Syria had been "hasty".

- On December 27, Bahrain announces in a statement that it plans to follow suit and a Syrian airline organizes its first direct flight to Tunis since the war broke out.

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

Arms, training and funds from Arab states were funnelled to Syrian rebels through a programme overseen by the Central Intelligence Agency until U.S. President Donald Trump ordered it shut down past year.

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.

For Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, drawing Syria away from Iran's web of influence may require providing Damascus with significant monetary support toward reconstruction. The department said the funds were no longer needed because the administration had secured about $300 million for the same goal from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other nations, though even that sum would be a fraction of what is needed to rebuild the war-torn nation.

It remains to be seen who will shoulder the burden of those costs.


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