Syria–United Arab Emirates relations

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Syria-United Arab Emirates relations
Map indicating locations of Syria and United Arab Emirates


United Arab Emirates

Syria – United Arab Emirates relations are the relations between the United Arab Emirates and Syria. The U.A.E. has an embassy in Damascus while Syria maintains an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate-general in Dubai. Both countries are part of the Middle East region and share close cultural ties. There are numerous Syrian nationals in the U.A.E.[citation needed]

Syrian Civil War[edit]

In 2011, the Syrian Civil War began. Despite this, on 25 September 2013, Foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that UAE would continue to support the Syrians and their legitimate aspirations for restoring security and stability to the country.[1] However, the UAE is not actively supporting the government of Bashar Al-Assad. On 13 January 2014, Vice President, Prime Minister and Emir of Dubai Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that there could be no long-term solution to ending the war with Assad in power, and predicted that the Syrian president would eventually lose power.[2]

Although the UAE continues to express rhetorical and diplomatic support for the Syrian opposition, it has been accused of maintaining ties to the Syrian government.[3] Its stance on the Syrian conflict has been described as "less aggressive" than Saudi Arabia or Qatar - but, unlike Egypt, not "favourable to Assad".[4] However, it has exhibited openness to Assad remaining in power as part of a peace settlement.[5] It has been critical of Saudi, Qatari and Turkish support for Islamist rebel groups in Syria.[6]

The UAE took part in the 2014 American-led intervention in Syria against ISIS.[7] It later broke with Saudi Arabia by supporting the 2015 Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, maintaining it was against a "common enemy".[8] It also reportedly provided funding for the moderate Southern Front, through an Amman-based Military Operations Center, although this Center has been inactive since 2017.[9][10]

Alongside the United States, it has been involved in supporting and training the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).[4][11][12] Along with Egypt and Russia, it also supports the Syria's Tomorrow Movement, which has a military wing, the Elite Forces, that is part of the SDF.[13]