Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad, on Friday 18 March, landed in the United Arab Emirates marking his first official visit abroad, with the exception of Russia, since 2011.

By hosting him, Sheikh Mohamed Ben Zayed - acting as interim for his half-brother Khafifa - has violated the total ban on relations with the Syrian president imposed by the West.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine against the Banderites (“neo-Nazis” according to Russian terminology), the Emirates have welcomed a large number of Russians and Ukrainians who have been hit by Western sanctions.