Key regional actors suddenly realise the need to become a counter weight to growing Iranian and Turkish control over affairs in the Levant
'Last week the United Arab Emirates announced it was negotiating the reopening of its embassy in Damascus and restoring full ties with Syria.
After the opening of the Nassib border crossing on the Jordan-Syria border, for the first time since the war began, Syria now has a through road linking Turkey to Jordan.
At the same time the Israelis have also handed over the Quneitra border crossing in the occupied Golan Heights to Damascus after four years of closure.
It is not just that all roads are leading to Damascus but also there is a quiet - but strategic - shift by the most powerful Arab actors in the region towards establishing a working relationship with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
For example, and according to the pro-Syrian regime news outlet, al-Masdar, Saudi Arabia and Syria are working through back channels via the UAE to reach a political reconciliation.
In an ironic twist, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait suddenly realised the need to strengthen Syria and become a counterweight to growing Iranian and Turkish control over affairs in the Levant.
As the headlines over the last few weeks have been dominated by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the viability of the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman – quietly but strategically Damascus has been regaining lost ground with key Arab states.
It is not just that all roads are leading to Damascus but there is also a quiet - but strategic - shift by the most powerful Arab actors in the region towards establishing a working relationship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Written off seven years ago by the likes of the then Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, Damascus is now quietly re-positioning itself as the key arbiter in the regional tussle for control over strategic choke points in the Middle East.
Recent statements by the UAE, Bahrain and Egyptian officials point to making Syria "an Arab issue" to steer it away from Turkey and Iran. This view goes as follows: only by engaging with Damascus can the influence of Tehran and Ankara be balanced out.'
Read more: Why the UAE and Saudi Arabia are reaching out to Assad