The United Arab Emirates ambassador to Syria assumed his position for the first time in 13 years, marking Syria’s reintegration into the regional fold.

The first United Arab Emirates ambassador to Syria took up his post for the first time in 13 years on Tuesday, as Syria has been reintegrating into regional acceptance.

Syrian state media said the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Faisal Mekdad, received UAE Ambassador Hassan Ahmad al-Shihi’s credentials.

The UAE embassy was re-opened in Syria in late 2018, and a charge d’affaires has been in charge. Al-Shihi arrived in Damascus on Monday, according to the pro-government daily Al-Watan.

Syrian President Bashar Assad visited the Gulf country twice since 2022, the first Arab country to receive Assad since the civil war erupted in Syria almost 13 years ago. Following the February 6, 2023, earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and nearly 8,000 in Syria, the UAE sent dozens of planes filled with humanitarian aid to Syria.

In May, the Arab League agreed to reinstate Syria, ending a 12-year suspension.

Al-Shihi’s arrival came as Syria deals with a severe economic crisis, part of it as a result of the conflict that has killed half a million people, displaced millions of others, and left large parts of the country destroyed.

The reconciliation between Syria and Arab countries is not likely to lead to a flow of money due to Western sanctions, which, along with widespread corruption and war, have led to a severe economic crisis.

At the start of the conflict in March 2011, the dollar was trading at 47 pounds, whereas it is now worth 16,000 Syrian pounds.

United Nations estimates show that 90% of Syrians in regime-held areas live in poverty. The situation could potentially get worse with the World Food Program announcing that it would end its main assistance program across Syria in January.