The Christian Science Monitor

Postwar Syria? Arab world moving to bring Damascus back into the fold.

After nearly eight years of trying to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Gulf states and their Arab allies are rapidly embracing Damascus anew.

The bitter enemies in the civil war-turned-proxy war that has killed more than 500,000 people and displaced millions are reopening embassies, reestablishing trade ties, and paving the way for Syria’s return to regional organizations.

At stake in the shorter term are regional efforts to contain Shiite Iran, and in the long term even the international rehabilitation of Syria.

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of moves marking Syria’s return from the cold:

• The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus after seven years in late December, with Bahrain and Kuwait expected to follow.

• Saudi Arabia, the staunchest anti-Assad government during the war, reportedly is leaning toward reopening its embassy and recently appointed as foreign minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, head

Iran entrenchedOpening to the WestMy enemy’s enemyA peace for the people?

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