Report: UAE FM invited Syria’s Assad to Abu Dhabi

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News of the warming relations signals a potential return of Syria to the Arab League

During a recent meeting with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, the United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed purportedly invited the leader to visit the country, Arabic-speaking media detailed on Wednesday.

At the visit, the UAE official was “carrying with him an official invitation from his country’s president to President Bashar al-Assad to visit Abu Dhabi,” sources familiar with the matter disclosed to Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar.

Additionally, sources in Al-Akhbar explained that the Tuesday meeting between the two officials “will not be the last with this political weight.”

News of the warming relations signals a potential return of Syria to the Arab League, a regional organization of Arab states from which Syria was suspended in 2011.

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Talks between Assad and Zayed focused on bilateral relations between Syria and the UAE, according to a statement from Syria’s government.

The meeting was met with anxiety from the United States, who promised not to normalize relations with Assad.

“We are concerned by reports of this meeting and the signal that it sends,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price explained to the media on Tuesday. 

“This administration will not express any support for efforts to normalize or rehabilitate Bashar al-Assad, who is a brutal dictator,” the representative reiterated to reporters.