Bahrain says it will resume operations at its embassy in Syria amid new efforts by Persian Gulf states to improve relations with Damascus as the war against foreign-backed terrorists winds down.
“The Kingdom of Bahrain has announced that work is continuing at its embassy in the brotherly Arab Republic of Syria,” a statement carried by Bahrain’s state news agency BNA said.
Bahrain was among a group of Persian Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia which broke off diplomatic ties with Syria and supported terrorists fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.
Manama said it was important that Arab states work to prevent any regional interference in Syria’s internal affairs to help restore security and stability in the country.
BNA said flights had been operating between Bahrain and Syria without interruption, although again it did not say whether that had been the case throughout the war.
The Bahraini foreign ministry’s statement came after diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that Bahrain’s mission in the Syrian capital would resume its activities next week.
Bahrain decided to shut down its embassy in Damascus and to withdraw all diplomats and staff on March 15, 2012.
Manama’s announcement came a day after the UAE officially reopened its diplomatic mission in the war-torn country.
The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the reopening of its embassy “reaffirms the keenness of the United Arab Emirates to restore relations between the two friendly countries to their normal course.”
UAE’s first cargo arrives in Syria
The UAE also announced it has officially started its trade with Syria, sending its first cargo through Lebanon and Nasib border crossing into Syria.
According to the Emirati newspaper Al-Bayan, the Arab country dispatched the first cargo in the form of three trucks containing dry and frozen commodities.
The report also said the Dubai Ports company seeks to create a 2,500km crossing between Dubai free zone and Nasib-Jaber border crossing between Syria and Jordan in order to facilitate trade relations.
There are also talks of Syria’s membership in the Arab League, which was suspended seven years ago.
The United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, told Al Arabiya TV on Thursday that Syria’s return to the Arab league required Arab consensus.
An Arab diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters last week he believed a majority wanted Syria to be readmitted – with only three or four states expected to oppose this.