UAE diplomat praises brutal Syrian President Assad's 'wise leadership'

©Al-Araby Al-Jadeed

A leading Emirati diplomat has praised Syrian President Bashar Assad's"wise leadership", describing relations between the two Arab countries as "solid and special".

The comments by Charge d'Affaires Abdul-Hakim Naimi came during a ceremony late on Monday in Damascus to mark UAE's National Day.

Bashar al-Assadregime has been largely ostracised by the international community for its brutal suppression of peaceful protests in 2011 and the deaths of thousands of civilians in the ongoing Syrian conflict, mostly from bombing.

The US and the EU have also imposed trade sanctions on the regime.

But in December 2018, the UAE and Bahrain reopened their embassies in Damascus for the first time in seven years, a reflection of improved relations between Assad and some Arab countries.

Naimi said he hopes that "peace, security and stability will prevail Syria under the shadow of the wise leadership" of Assad.

The UAE was a supporter of the Syrian opposition in the early days of the war.

Meanwhile, it was revealed Tuesday that the UAE's arrest of Syrian Mohannad al-Masri was at the request of the Syrian regime.

"Interpol Damascus" called for the extradition of two men in early November on charges of supporting and financing terrorism,

Arabi 21

reported.

The Syrian conflict broke out in 2011 after the Assad regime brutally suppressed pro-democracy protests.

Read more: Syria Weekly: A small step towards the fight for justice for Assad's victims

In March 2019, human rights lawyers filed cases against Assad at the International Criminal Court, based on the testimony of 28 refugees who said that they had been shot at, bombed and tortured by the Syrian dictator's forces.

More than 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced as a result of the Syrian conflict, mostly as a result of Assad regime bombardment of civilian areas.

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