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

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Syrian President Bashar Assad has arrived within the United Arab Emirates Sunday, his first go to to the rich Gulf nation because the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria final month

ByABBY SEWELL Related Press

BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived within the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, his first go to to the rich Gulf nation because the 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 response to a press release from Assad’s workplace.

Sheikh Mohammed mentioned in a press release on Twitter that the 2 “held constructive talks geared toward growing relations between our two international locations.”

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The go to marks a continuation within the ongoing thaw of relations between Syria and different Arab international locations, 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 struggle.

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 because the 2011 outbreak of the Syrian civil struggle 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 giant scale for now.

One key barrier: Syria has not applied U.N. Safety 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 Financial institution mentioned 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 full estimated influence to $5.2 billion. That is on high of the preexisting damages from 12 years of struggle.

“Financial development might contract additional if reconstruction progress is slower than anticipated, given restricted public sources, weak non-public funding, and restricted humanitarian help reaching the affected areas,” the Financial institution mentioned in a press release.

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