Syrian regime 'establishes diplomatic ties' with tiny Caribbean island of Dominica
The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has established diplomatic relations with the Commonwealth of Dominica, a small Caribbean island with a population of just 72,000 people, according to the regime's SANA news agency.
The agreement to establish diplomatic relations was signed on Monday at the headquarters of the Syrian regime delegation to the United Nations in New York, the report added.
It was inked by Bassam Sabbagh, the regime's permanent representative to the UN, and his counterpart from the Commonwealth of Dominica, Loreen Bannis-Roberts.
Countries across the world broke ties with President Bashar al-Assad's regime after regime forces brutally suppressed pro-democracy protests in 2011.
At least 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced as a result of the country's ongoing conflict, most of them as a result of regime bombardment of civilian areas.
However, in recent years the regime has re-established ties with some Arab states, such as Jordan and the UAE, after it gained territory previously held by Syrian opposition forces with Russian and Iranian help.
News of the regime's establishment of ties with Dominica was met with derision by Syrian social media users.
The Caribbean country - not to be confused with the larger Dominican Republic - is little-known in the Arab world.
The Syrian opposition news website Orient reported that regime-affiliated businessmen and entertainers had recently acquired Dominican citizenship.
The country has a scheme under which foreigners can acquire citizenship, without any residency requirement, by "donating" $100,000 to its Economic Development Fund or investing $200,000 in real estate development.
The New Arab has reached out to the Commonwealth of Dominica's High Commission in London for comment.