Mohammed bin Hamad al-Shamsi, a deputy director of the UAE’s Supreme Council for National Security, visited Damascus last August and met with General Mohammed Dib Zaitoun, head of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate, the al-Akhbar newspaper reported on September 15.
The Lebanese newspaper said that al-Shamsi informed the Syrian side during the meeting that the UAE is “excited” to restore its diplomatic relations with the Damascus government. However, this may happen indirectly through the UAE’s embassy in Lebanon at the beginning.
The two sides also discussed the “security issue,” according to al-Akhbar, which pointed out that the sides would only cooperate on such issues if the diplomatic relations are restored.
In Augusts, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) deployed hundreds of former Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters, who, according to reprots, were formerly backed by the UAE, on the front line against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies in the northern governorate of Idlib.
Furthermore, Syrian opposition activists leaked an audio message of Firas Tlass, a UAE-based Syrian businessman and an opposition figure, in which he threatens the remaining militants in northwestern Syria with an “invasion” if they don’t join the reconciliation process.
These development suggests that the Syrian-Emirati relations will witness a significant improvement in the foreseeable future, especially that both countries view al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood party as their main enemies.