Sheikh Abdullah meets Assad in Syria

Sheikh Abdullah and Bashar al-Assad discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern including the latest developments in Syria and the Middle East…reports Asian Lite News

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday received UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Damascus, as part of his working visit to Syria.

During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah conveyed the regards of President  Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and their wishes of more stability, progress and prosperity for Syria and the Syrian people.

In turn, the Syrian President reciprocated his greetings to President and Vice President and his best wishes of further prosperity, development and progress for the UAE.

During the meeting, the two sides tackled bilateral relations between the UAE and Syria and ways to enhance them through cooperation at all levels to achieve the joint interests of the two fraternal countries and peoples.

They also discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern including the latest developments in Syria and the Middle East.

Sheikh Abdullah affirmed the commitment and keenness of the UAE to support the efforts made to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis that restores the security, stability and unity of Syria and meets the aspirations of the brotherly Syrian people for development and prosperity.

The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation hailed the Syrian President’s official visit to the UAE in March 2022 and his meeting with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, which came within the framework of the joint desire to continue brotherly consultation between the two countries to discuss bilateral relations and coordinate positions regarding various issues of joint interest.

Sheikh Abdullah’s visit to Syria comes two days after Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s ‘controversial’ visit to the flashpoint holy site of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, which triggered a furious backlash from the Muslim world in the Middle East.

The UAE also strongly condemned Ben-Gvir’s “storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” urging Israel to “halt serious and provocative violations” at the holy site, said the UAE foreign ministry in a statement. The UAE signed a normalization deal with Israel in 2020.

Meanwhile few days ago, Israel launched a missile strike on the Damascus International airport, killing two soldiers, local Syrian media reported.

The attack at around 2 a.m. on Monday has also led to the suspension of operations at the airport, Xinhua news agency quoted the local media report citing military sources. Another two soldiers were injured in the attack, said the report.

Earlier, state media had reported that several explosions were heard in the Syrian capital on Sunday night and that the air defence was repelling the Israeli attack. In 2022, Israel carried out scores of missile strikes in Syria.

UNSC to discuss Al Aqsa ‘storming’

It is learned that the UN Security Council will meet today to discuss the controversial visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound by an Israeli interior minister.

The 15-member Council will convene at 3:00 pm (2000 GMT) at the United Nations headquarters in New York following a request by the United Arab Emirates and China, news agency AFP reported.

Earlier, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre raised concern about the far-right minister’s visit and said that any action that changes the status quo of Jerusalem holy sites is unacceptable.

 Pierre said, “The US stands firmly and we have been very clear for the preservation of the status quo with respect to holy sites in Jerusalem. Any unilateral action that jeopardizes the status quo is unacceptable and we will remain steadfast on that and be very clear.”

Notably, according to CNN, under the “status quo agreement” dating back to Ottoman rule of Jerusalem, only Muslims are allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and non-Muslims are only allowed to visit the complex at certain times. Israel and other states agreed to maintain status quo access to these holy sites after Israel captured them in the 1967 war.

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