The UAE and Syria have agreed on future plans to enhance economic cooperation according to the Emirates' economy ministry.
The ministry announced on Twitter yesterday that non-oil trade between the two countries in the first half of this year amounted to $272 million (one billion dirhams), adding that the UAE is "Syria's most prominent global trade partner".
— Ministry Of Economy – United Arab Emirates (@Economyae) October 10, 2021
The agreement was made when the UAE's Minister of Economy, Adulla Bin Touq Al-Marri, met with his Syrian counterpart Mohammad Samer Al-Khalil and follows last week's meeting between the two at the sidelines of the Dubai Expo 2020 where they discussed the reactivation of the Syrian-Emirati Businessmen Council.
The developments are seen as an early indicator of Arab states' willingness to normalise ties with Damascus.
In 2018, the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus, followed by Bahrain which said the Syrian Embassy in Manama was operating as usual. Defying US pressure, the UAE sent a large business delegation to the Damascus International Fair several months after re-opening its embassy. Syria was suspended from the Arab League over its failure to end the bloodshed caused by brutal government crackdowns on pro-democracy protests.