Syria praises visit of UAE minister to Damascus


BEIRUT – Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Monday a visit to Damascus last month by the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister Abdalla bin Zayed had been “a courageous” move.

The UAE foreign minister on Nov. 10 became the most senior Emirati to visit Damascus since Syria’s civil war erupted about a decade ago.

The visit marked the latest in a series of diplomatic overtures that point to a shift underway in the Middle East where several Arab countries are reviving ties with President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking at a news conference in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart, Mekdad said he hoped other countries in the region would follow the UAE minister’s example.

“The visit of the UAE foreign minister … was a courageous step and an advanced one,” Mekdad said.

“We are looking to these visits with optimism and we are looking forward to these kinds of initiatives increasing in the coming days and weeks.”


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