Syrian President Bashar al-Assad paid a state visit accompanied by his wife Asma al-Assad to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday, according to the Syrian presidency and the UAE official WAM news agency.
The Syrian president and First Lady were received by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan upon their arrival at Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.
During their meeting at the Presidential palace, the two presidents discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen cooperation, which would contribute to achieving their mutual interests, reported WAM.
The UAE president also expressed his condolences over the earthquake victims, stressing his confidence in Syria’s ability and determination to overcome the ordeal.
The visit came at a time when the UAE and Egypt are helping Syria return to the Arab fold following years of diplomatic isolation after the Syrian war broke out in 2011.
The UAE resumed its diplomatic ties with Syria in 2018, and is spearheading the relief aid delivery to Syria in the wake of last month’s earthquakes as well as mediations apparently to normalize relations between Syria and major regional powers such as Saudi Arabia.
The UAE has sent hundreds of relief planes, including those provided by Arab and other foreign countries, to quake-hit Syria.
In late February, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited both Syria and Turkey, to convey a message of solidarity from Egypt.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad received Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Damascus, who said that the purpose of his visit to Syria is “humanitarian first and foremost to convey Egyptian solidarity to the leadership and people.”
The Egyptian minister conveyed a message from President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi affirming Egypt’s solidarity with Syria and its readiness to continue to support the Syrian people as they face the effects of the earthquake, according to a statement from the Syrian presidency.
Al-Assad pointed out that Syrian-Egyptian relations should always be viewed from a general perspective and within the natural and historical context of these relations.
“Working to improve relations between Arab countries on a bilateral basis is the basis for improving the Arab situation in general,” al-Assad said.
“Egypt did not treat the Syrians who settled there during the war on Syria as refugees, but rather embraced them by the Egyptian people in all regions, which confirms the ties between the two peoples and the originality of the Egyptian people,” the Syrian president said.