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Syria's chief opposition negotiator said on Sunday he was surprised by countries rebuilding ties with the Syrian government and urged them to reverse their decision. Arab states, including some that once backed rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, are seeking to reconcile with him after decisive gains by his forces in the war, aiming to expand their influence in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran. The United Arab Emirates re-opened its embassy in Damascus last month and Bahrain said its embassy there, and the Syrian diplomatic mission in Manama, had been operating "without interruption".