The war in Syria has caused the deaths of more than 350,000 people and forced millions of people to flee their homes.
President Bashar Al Assad has travelled to the United Arab Emirates, his first visit to an Arab country since the outbreak of Syria’s brutal civil war in 2011.
More than 350,000 people have died in over a decade of fighting in Syria, according to the UN, with millions of people forced to flee their homes, their lives changed forever.
Syria was expelled from the 22-member Arab League and boycotted by its neighbours following the outbreak of war, but the new visit appears to signal a shift in approach.
US state department spokesperson Ned Price said he was “profoundly disappointed and troubled by this apparent attempt to legitimise Bashar Al Assad”.
In a statement posted on its social media pages, the presidency office says Assad met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai, on Friday.