dpa/GNA – US sanctions on the Syrian government and its allies are an obstacle to reconciliation with Damascus and a possible end to the crisis in the country, the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Abdullah bin Zayed said “the biggest challenge to reconciliation is the Caesar Act.”
The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act was signed by former US president Donald Trump and targets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his allies and anyone doing business in Syria profiting from the war.
Speaking at a press conference alongside his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Abdullah said it is important to “open the door for working together with Syria, and the Caesar Act makes this path very difficult not only for states but also for the private sector”.
The Emirati diplomat also discussed the possibility of readmitting Syria back into the Arab League and the “importance of joint action for Syria’s return to its region.”
Syria’s membership in the 22-state body was suspended in November 2011.
Syria has been in crisis since peaceful pro-democracy protests in March 2011 evolved into a full-blown war, drawing in foreign powers and fighters.
While it supported the Syrian opposition early in the crisis, the UAE in recent years has publicly favored regional rapprochement with al-Assad. In 2018, it reopened its embassy in Damascus.