Part of the Syria Transition Challenges Project
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pursued a careful policy towards the Syrian conflict based on keeping Syrian state institutions intact and simultaneously supporting Syrian people’s aspirations. In order to maintain this balance, Abu Dhabi has relied in part on a legacy of pragmatic relations with Damascus since the 1990s. This legacy allowed Abu Dhabi to resume its diplomatic ties with Damascus with the aim of drawing it closer to its Arab neighbours when Iran’s influence over the country’s decision-making increased. In order to keep its engagement constructive, the UAE has utilised humanitarian aid since 2011 to support the Syrian people in refugee camps outside the country and within Syria especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE however faces challenges from regional and international actors involved in the Syrian conflict.
The ideas expressed are of the author’s not the publisher
Published in June 2020
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