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Kuwait to reopen embassy in Syria for first time in seven years

In another sign of thawing relations between the Syrian government and the Arab world after years of diplomatic row in the wake of foreign-sponsored militancy, Kuwait has announced plans to reopen its embassy in Damascus next month.

A Syrian government source, requesting anonymity, said on Friday that Kuwait’s diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital will resume its activities within the next 10 to 14 days, Syria’s pro-government al-Masdar news agency reported.

Under pressure from other members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait withdrew its diplomats from Syria in February 2012, after tensions rose in the region over the foreign-backed crisis in Syria. A month later the Syrian embassy in Kuwait was also closed.

The development came on the same day that Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that work at the kingdom’s embassy “in the Syrian Arab Republic is going on whilst the Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Kingdom of Bahrain is carrying out its duties and flights connecting the two countries are operational without interruption.”

The statement also affirmed “the Kingdom’s keenness on the continuity of its relations with the Syrian Arab Republic and stresses the significance of enhancing and activating the Arab role in order to maintain Syria’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and avert the hazards of regional interference in its internal affairs and progress.”

On Thursday, the United Arab Emirates officially reopened its embassy in Damascus.

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.”

The move “will strengthen and activate the Arab role in supporting the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to prevent the dangers of regional interference in Syrian Arab affairs,” the ministry pointed out.

UAE’s charge d’affaires Abdul Hakim Naimi visited the embassy in the afternoon, and witnessed his country’s flag being raised on the compound in central Damascus.