FA Minister: Syria's return to the Arab League needs Arab consensus

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The UAE embassy in Syrian capital Damascus was reopened Thursday afternoon and the UAE flag was raised over it, for the first time in seven years. Almost seven years later, the Emirati flag was raised again during a ceremony attended by diplomats and journalists.

However, an ambassador will not be immediately stationed, an Emirati government source told CNN.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, said on social media that the decision came amid a conviction that peace and stability in Syria requires the Arab countries' presence and contribution.

He added the move was "to activate the Arab role in supporting Syria's independence, sovereignty, unity and safety and prevent the dangers of regional intervention in Syria's Arab affairs".

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The reopening represents a significant victory for Assad, who had fought for years against rebel factions receiving weapons and material support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and, to a lesser degree, the UAE.

With the reconciliation and resumption of diplomatic relations between the Arab countries and Syria, Zou said that it is also possible for Syria to return to the Arab League.

Eight years later, more than half a million people are thought to have been killed in fighting.

With military operations winding down in several parts of the country and the capital fully secure, Damascus is also working on breaking its physical isolation.

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Iran, along with Russian Federation, has been a key ally of Syria's President Bashar al Assad.

Trade between Jordan and Syria has resumed in recent weeks after the reopening of a border crossing in October and the first commercial flight from Syria to Tunisia in seven years took off on Thursday.

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011, citing alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests.

President Donald Trump said last week the United States would pull its troops out of Syria because the Islamic State terror group has been defeated, although some politicians and experts have disagreed on that claim.

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