Syria says UAE minister's visit to Damascus was courageous
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Monday a visit to Damascus last month by the United Arab Emirates' foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan had been "a courageous move".
Speaking during 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.
Abdullah bin Zayed is the highest ranking Emirati official to visit Damascus ever since the Syrian conflict broke out more than a decade ago.
In response to Bashar al-Assad's regime's brutal suppression of peaceful protests at the beginning of the conflict in 2011, many Arab countries, including the UAE, broke off ties with the regime and its membership in the Arab League was suspended.
However in 2018 the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, widely seen as the UAE’s de facto ruler, spoke on the phone to President Assad last month.
(Reuters contributed to this story)