The United Kingdome may reopen its embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus in a year or two, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper hinted in a report on January 6 citing a British diplomat.
“Give it a year or two and you can bet we’ll be reopening our embassy,” the unnamed diplomat said in the what the British newspaper described it as “an off-the-cuff remark.”
During the last two weeks, the restoration of the Syrian-British relations was discussed by several unofficial figures. On December 30, former UK Ambassador to Syria said that we may witness the return of the British and French ambassadors to Damascus during 2019.
Later, the RT TV revealed that four employees of the Kingdom’s embassy in Beirut visited the embassy building in Damascus to supervise ongoing restorations there. Prior to the Russian TV channel report, the UK dismissed similar rumors and said that building was leased and the real owners are the ones who are restoring it.
“We do think he [Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad] is going to be around for a while and that is because of the support that he’s had from Russia,” UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said during an interview with Sky News two days ago.
Hunt’s statement was seen as a shift in the UK’s stand on Assad’s government by some observers, who linked this to the rumors about the possible reopening of the UK’s embassy in Damascus.
However, other observers believe that the restoration of Syrian-British relations is almost impossible as for now because the UK, which participated in a strike on Syria few months ago, is still not willing to make any changes in its negative policy towards the war-torn country.