Defying US pressure UAE firms scouting trade at Syria fair

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Defying US pressure UAE firms scouting trade at Syria fair

Despite a series of US warnings not to pursue business with the Syrian Government alongside associates of President Bashar al-Assad, a team of at least 40 business delegates from United Arab Emirates had attended a state-backed trade fair in the Syria’s capital city of Damascus, suggesting a growing qualm in the Middle East over power struggles, as UAE had long been seeking to attain a closer tie-up with Syria to overshadow regional influence of Iran and Turkey.

Nonetheless, latest UAE move, which would likely to meet with angsts from Washington, was bolted out of the blue seven months after UAE had reopened its embassy in Syria. In point of fact, the UAE delegates who departed to attend Syrian trade fair on Thursday (August 29th) and Friday (August 30th) included larger real estate and investment funds headed by influential Emirati businessmen alongside members of UAE chamber of commerce.

Further inside the bid, during the Syrian civil war, UAE supported an armed group opposing President Bashar al-Assad, nonetheless, Emirates’ role had been less prominent during the war compared on Saudi and Qatar, while UAE had mostly ensured that the Islamic forces could not dominate the uprising in Syria.

Nonetheless, as a response to UAE’s participation in Syrian trade fair, US envoy to Syria tweeted earlier on August 27th saying that the US embassy in Syria had received reports that some regional business titans were planning to participate in its trade fair, while any potential deal-making effort could expose President Assad alongside foreign delegates to the possibility of stiffer US sanctions.

Besides, casting gloom over Syrian business fair, US envoy to Syria wrote in a tweet later last month, “We repeat that it is unacceptable and inappropriate for businesses, individuals, and chambers of commerce from outside Syria to participate. ”