UAE moving to reconcile with Syria

The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates has visited Syria for the first time since a civil war broke out in Syria 10 years ago. The visit came in a series of recent reconciliatory moves between Syria and Arab nations.

UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus on Tuesday.

The Syrian presidential office said the two discussed stepping up bilateral cooperation in investment and other economic matters.

The UAE aims to improve its relations with Damascus as Assad's government appears certain to win the civil war.
When the conflict began in Syria in 2011, the Gulf country backed anti-government forces. But it recently reopened its embassy in Damascus.

There has been a series of moves to improve relations with Syria by Arab countries, which had distanced themselves from Assad's government.

Egypt held a foreign ministerial meeting with Syria on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September. Jordan's King Abdullah talked with Assad over the phone last month.

Diplomatic eyes are now focusing on whether the Arab League will allow Syria to return as a member while Western countries continue sanctions on the country. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership 10 years ago for its military crackdown on pro-democracy movements.