UAE, Syria ministers meet amid Assad rehabilitation efforts
Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer Al-Khalil and his UAE counterpart Abdulla Bin Touq Al-Mari discussed trade, investment, and cooperation through the Syrian-UAE Council of Businessmen, according to the Syrian news agency SANA.
Following the 2018 reopening of the UAE embassy in Damascus, Abu Dhabi has taken several steps to normalise ties with the Assad regime.
"[Al-Mari] voiced his country’s readiness to offer the necessary support to Syria through conveying the successful Emirati experience in the economic sector," reported SANA.
Al-Khalil also promoted Syria's new investment laws in the meeting, highlighting that it "encourages investors to set up projects in all domains through offering great facilitation and privileges".
Emirati and Egyptian diplomats have reportedly put pressure on other Arab countries to allow Syria to return to the Arab League.
Syria was suspended from the Arab League in November 2011 following the Assad regime's brutal suppression of pro-democracy protests.
Other Arab countries have also made tentative steps toward normalisation with Damascus in recent years, after a decade of fractured relations.
Jordan's King Abdullah II spoke with Assad by phone on Sunday, where he affirmed Amman's support for "efforts to preserve Syria's sovereignty, stability, territorial integrity, and people".
Syria is participating in Dubai Expo 2020 with the Syria pavilion, which includes a showcase of the oldest written musical hymn in the world, "the Ugaritic worship song", according to SANA.
At least 500,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, which began in 2011, mostly as a result of Assad regime bombardment of civilian areas.