The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in the Syrian capital on Thursday, seven years after the mission was closed because of the country’s bloody war.
An official at the Syrian information ministry invited journalists “to cover the reopening of the Emirati embassy in Damascus today”.
Citing a source in the Syrian foreign ministry, Russian state media also said the UAE will officially open its mission in the country on Thursday afternoon.
Rumours of the Emirati embassy reopening have circulated in recent days as renovation work was spotted getting underway at the building.
The move is seen as another step in efforts to bring the regime of President Bashar al-Assad back into the Arab fold after years of diplomatic isolation.
Last month, reports emerged that Emirati officials had been meeting with the Syrian regime to restore its diplomatic mission.
With the exception of Oman, Gulf states closed their missions in Syria after the outbreak of the conflict in 2011, when President Bashar al-Assad’s forces gunned down peaceful protesters.
Some of the Gulf states have supported factions of the Syrian opposition during the seven-year conflict, providing arms to various rebel groups in an attempt to counter Iranian support for the Syrian regime.
Recent developments have indicated that the Gulf states are now reaching out to reconcile with the Assad regime.
Assad recently told a Kuwaiti newspaper that Syria has reached a “major understanding” with Arab states after years of hostility.
Earlier this month, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir became the first Arab leader to visit Syria since the war began.