Reflecting the new normal, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) became the first country to reopen its embassy in Damascus on December 27. Most Arabian regimes had withdrawn their diplomats from the Syrian capital and shut their embassies as the foreign-instigated mayhem erupted in Syria in February 2011.
A few days earlier (December 23), Sudan’s President ‘Umar al-Bashir arrived in Damascus becoming the first Arabian ruler to do so in more than seven years. There have been other developments as well. Syrian and Egyptian intelligence chiefs met in Cairo to work out the modalities of coordinating their policies and the return of Syria to the Arab League fold from which it was expelled in 2011. The Jordanians are equally eager to kiss and make up with Bashar al-Asad of Syria.
One can clearly see the Saudi hand in this. They hold considerable sway over the smaller and weaker Arabian regimes especially basketcases like Sudan, Jordan, and even Egypt. These moves indicate that the Arabian potentates have accepted the reality of al-Asad staying in power and the grand conspiracy against his government has failed. With the US about to flee the scene, there is no point in continuing with the hostile policy toward Syria that had characterized their conduct since 2011.
It is not inconceivable that the downgraded Saudi Minister of State ‘Adil al-Jubayr may drop by in Damascus and claim the Saudi regime always wanted good relations with Syria!