UAE FM visit signals Arab world willing to engage with Syria

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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates has met with Syria’s once widely shunned president in Damascus, sending the strongest signal yet that the Arab world is willing to re-engage with strongman Bashar Assad. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit on Tuesday comes as some Arab countries are improving relations with Syria, a decade after the country’s civil war began. Last month, the UAE’s crown prince received a telephone call from Syria’s president in which they discussed strengthening relations and cooperation. The UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus in December 2018. The UAE was a supporter of the Syrian opposition.