Pictures of Syrian landmarks are displayed in the Syrian Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020. October 7, 2021

UAE, Syria Plan To Expand Economic Cooperation As Assad's Isolation Eases

10/10/2021

The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that the Gulf state and Syria had agreed on future plans to enhance economic cooperation and explore new sectors.

The Economy Ministry wrote on Twitter that the value of non-oil trade between the two countries in the first half of 2021 was one billion dirhams ($272 million).

The UAE re-opened its mission to Damascus in late 2018 in a bid to counter the influence of non-Arab actors like Iran, which along with Russia backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey, which backs rebel forces.

Jordan also has been taking steps to reestablish contacts and interaction with Syria. King Abdullah spoke to al-Assad earlier this month for the first time in a decade. The two countries have fully opened their borders.

Analysts believe pro-West Arab states may have a desire to counter Iran’s influence in Syria, which came about during the civil war as Tehran played a major military and economic role to save the Assad regime from collapse.

The United States still has not changed its policy of shunning the Syrian government but some say US Arab allies are encouraging the Biden Administration to change the current policy.

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