Bahrain has appointed its first ambassador to Syria in a decade after it downgraded diplomatic ties with Damascus in 2012.
According to the official Bahrain News Agency, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa issued a royal decree on Thursday, appointing Waheed Mubarak Sayyar as the kingdom’s ambassador to Syria.
In 2012, Bahrain and Oman lowered their diplomatic representation in Syria in response to the Bashar al-Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on protests which erupted in 2011, while countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait cut ties with the regime.
The UAE, however, reopened its embassy in Damascus on Dec. 27, 2018 and appointed a charge d'affaires. Oman also returned its ambassador to Damascus on Oct. 5, 2020.
Since July, normalization steps with the Syrian regime have accelerated by several Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan and UAE.
In November, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Syria and met with al-Assad.
* Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara