Arab League Readmits Syria After 12-Year Suspension
The Arab League's foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo on Sunday, agreed to restore Syria's membership in the pan-Arab bloc after Damascus was suspended following the civil war that broke out in the country more than a decade ago.
- The Arab League's foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo on Sunday, agreed to restore Syria's membership in the pan-Arab bloc after Damascus was suspended following the civil war that broke out in the country more than a decade ago.1
- While the unanimous decision means that Syria can resume its participation in Arab League meetings, the foreign ministers also stressed their commitment to resolving the Syrian crisis and its humanitarian, security, and political implications.2
- However, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that Syria's readmission to the pan-Arab bloc does not mean normalization of Arab-Syrian relations, but that restoring ties is "a sovereign decision" taken independently by member countries.3
- Following Sunday's decision, which also calls for launching a Syria Monitoring Committee to include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iraq, Gheit announced that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad can now attend the upcoming Arab summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.4
- Meanwhile, US Sec. of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed that Washington remains opposed to normalizing relations with Damascus and that a political transition in which Assad is eventually replaced in elections is "the only viable solution to ending the conflict."5
- The Arab League move comes amid recent diplomatic efforts by countries like Saudi Arabia to reintegrate Damascus into the Arab fold, following Syria's suspension from the Arab League in 2011 after the crackdown on anti-government protests that eventually led to civil war.6
Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2Le Monde.fr, 3Dw.Com, 4Jordan, 5New York Times, and 6Ahram Online.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Al Arabiya English. Syria's readmission to the Arab League was a long overdue step and underscores recent efforts by regional powers to pursue their own policies, independent of the US, to build peace and stability. This will ultimately be strengthening the region's position on the world stage. Syria's reintegration into the Arab community, rather than its exclusion as demanded by Washington, is the surest and most effective way to overcome the Syrian crisis and humanitarian hardship. The US's failure in Syria is a victory for peace.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Middle East Eye. The development that Arab League is now rolling out the red carpet for the Syrian regime — that bloodily crushed pro-democracy protests in 2011 and sparked a vicious civil war — is deeply disappointing and ultimately only strengthens Assad and his allies. Washington will continue to advocate for Syrians' humanitarian relief and security and remains steadfast in its belief that there can be no rapprochement with Syria without credible progress toward a political settlement to the conflict.