Bahrain appoints its first ambassador to Damascus in ten years
Bahrain– On Thursday , Bahrain appointed its first ambassador to Damascus since it downgraded relations with the outbreak of the conflict in Syria.
The appointment of Waheed Mubarak Sayyar as head of the diplomatic mission to Syria, according to the official Bahrain News Agency, comes within the framework of a diplomatic shift in the Middle East with an increasing number of Arab countries reviving their relations with President Bashar al-Assad.
Gulf Arab states reduced their level of diplomatic representation or closed their diplomatic missions in Damascus after the Syrian government used force to quell the 2011 protests that turned into a civil war. The Kingdom of Bahrain had announced the continuation of work in its embassy in Damascus, as well as in the Syrian embassy in Manama.
The UAE, which reopened its mission to Damascus in late 2018, sent its foreign minister to Syria last month, where he met Assad. The UAE calls for Syria’s return to the Arab League.
The UAE began communicating again with Damascus after the significant gains made by the pro-government forces, in the hope of increasing Arab influence in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran.
The UAE was one of the few countries in the region that supported armed opposition groups in Syria, but its role was less visible than that of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have not restored relations with Damascus. And last year, the Sultanate of Oman became the first Gulf country to return its ambassador to Syria.