Syria’s Readmitted to Arab League as relations with Assad normalize
After more than a decade of being suspended from the Arab League due to a government crackdown on anti-Assad protesters that led to war, Syria has been readmitted to the organization. This move comes as President Bashar al-Assad seeks to normalize relationships with other Arab nations.
Syria’s Readmitted to Arab League as relations with Assad normalize: Key Points
- At a meeting in Cairo, foreign ministers from the 22-nation group voted for Syria’s return ahead of the upcoming Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia on May 19.
- The league also urged for resolving the crisis caused by the Syrian civil war, including refugee flight to neighboring countries and drug smuggling across the region.
- While some Arab states have pushed for ending al-Assad’s isolation and welcomed the decision, others have not.
- The UAE‘s diplomatic adviser, Anwar Gargash, tweeted that Syria’s readmission was a positive step and emphasized the need to build bridges and maximize partnerships to ensure regional prosperity and stability.
- In March, Al-Assad visited the UAE shortly after earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE President, stated on Twitter that they had productive discussions on improving relations between the two countries.
- Some other Arab nations are opposed to Syria being fully normalized without a political resolution to the Syrian conflict and want Syria to meet certain conditions before being allowed to return to the Arab League.
- Qatar had previously opposed Syria’s return to the Arab League, but it stated that it would support the Arab consensus and not hinder Syria’s reinstatement.
- Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit clarified that each country has the authority to decide whether to normalize relations with Syria.
- He also confirmed that Syria could attend Arab League meetings as a full member.
Syria’s Readmitted to Arab League as relations with Assad normalize: International Reaction
The US State Department spokesperson, Vedant Patel, disagreed with Syria’s reinstatement to the Arab League, but he acknowledged that the US shared common goals with its Arab allies in Syria, such as achieving a political resolution, providing humanitarian aid to Syrians, reducing Iran’s influence, and building stability to prevent the resurgence of ISIL.
Russia, a significant supporter of al-Assad, expressed its approval of the decision. Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that this was a logical outcome of the process that aimed to bring Syria back to the “Arab family” and had gained momentum.
- The re-entry of Syria was made possible by a Jordanian initiative that outlined a plan to resolve the Syrian conflict.
- The plan involves addressing various issues such as refugees, missing detainees, drug smuggling, and Iranian fighting groups in Syria.
- Jordan serves as a destination and a major transit point for the highly addictive amphetamine called captagon, which is produced in Syria and is worth billions of dollars.
- Jordan has hinted that it might take unilateral action to control this trade.
A Jordanian official has stated that Syria needs to demonstrate its commitment to reaching a political solution as a prerequisite for seeking the lifting of Western sanctions, which is crucial for financing the country’s reconstruction.
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