5/15/2023–|Last Updated: 5/15/202305:52 PM (Makkah Time)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has received an invitation from the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, to attend the United Nations Climate Conference (COP 28) in Dubai, the Syrian News Agency reported today, Monday.
The agency said Al-Assad received an official invitation to attend the conference from November 30 to December 12 from Abdul Hakim Al-Nuaimi, charge d’affaires of the UAE embassy.
The UAE’s invitation to the Syrian president comes after Arab states resumed relations with Damascus and regained its place in the Arab League. It will be the first time since the Syrian revolution in 2011 that the heads of state will attend the international conference, including the imposition of economic sanctions on Damascus.
Generally, heads of state and government participate in the global climate conference hosted by the United Nations. Last November 2022, a conference was held in Egypt in which French President Emmanuel Macron, American Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak participated.
Following the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, several Arab countries, led by the Gulf states, cut diplomatic ties with Damascus and were expelled from the Arab League in 2011.
However, the United Arab Emirates was the first Arab country to resume relations with Damascus after the rupture, and reopened its embassy there in 2018. The Syrian president has visited it twice since then.
The devastating earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey last February hastened the process of re-establishing relations between Damascus and its Arab neighborhood, with Assad receiving numerous contacts and aid from Arab leaders.
Last month, Saudi Arabia resumed its relations with Damascus, and the League of Arab States decided weeks later to resume the participation of Syrian government representatives in its meetings.
Al-Assad received an official invitation from Saudi Arabia to attend an Arab summit in Jeddah this week, his first invitation to attend an Arab summit since the outbreak of the revolution.
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