Following in the footsteps of the UAE and Oman, Bahrain reinstated Waheed Mubarak Sayyar, its ambassador to Damascus, on Thursday.
The appointment, reported on Thursday by Bahrain’s state news agency BNA, is part of a diplomatic shift in the Middle East as a growing number of Arab countries revive ties with President Bashar al-Assad.
Waheed Mubarak Sayyar will be the first Bahraini ambassador in Syria since Persian Gulf kingdoms joined the fight to overthrow the Damascus government and backing terrorist groups for nearly a decade.
Bahrain said its embassy, and the Syrian diplomatic mission in Manama, have remained operational.
Oman last year became the first Gulf state to reinstate an ambassador to Syria.
And, last month, the United Arab Emirates, which reopened its mission to Damascus in late 2018, sent its foreign minister to Damascus to meet al-Assad.
Besides, the US Senate’s confirmation of Steven Bondy as the new American ambassador to Bahrain earlier this month came despite accusations that he is a bigot and that “he treats his people like garbage.”
The latter accusation reportedly came from the UAE’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Zayed.
Bondy headed the US mission in the UAE where he drove out the embassy’s defense attaché, Miguel Correa.
Correa is a former Green Beret who saved the life of Bin Zayed’s son-in-law in Yemen.
During Bondy’s confirmation hearing for his new post in Manama, Correa told POLITICO that Bondy said: “disparaging remarks about Arabs all the time.”
“I recall an instance of him being dismissive of Middle Eastern staff,” Correa said referring to Bondy’s time in the UAE.
POLITICO broke the story and then played down the validity of the claims by attributing them to disgruntled members of the Trump team.
But both the UAE and Bahrain enjoyed very close ties with the Trump administration, and it seems Bondy is more of a Biden guy.
Meanwhile, Bahrain is experiencing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 infections. In terms of numbers, that translates into a 153% spike in cases between December 16 and December 22.
On Thursday there were more than 220 cases recorded across Bahrain, which has a population of just over 1.7 million.
Much of the world is again seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases compounded by the emergence of the Omicron Variant.
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