Syria Returns to Arab League After 12 Years
On Friday, Syria was welcomed back into the Arab League after more than a decade of isolation following the start of a brutal civil war in 2011.
- On Friday, Syria was welcomed back into the Arab League after more than a decade of isolation following the start of a brutal civil war in 2011.1
- Saudi Arabia's crown prince said he hoped Syria's return to the Arab League "leads to the end of its crisis," adding Saudi Arabia would "not allow our region to turn into a field of conflicts" as the page had been turned on "painful years of struggle."2
- While the majority of Arab governments support efforts to normalize relations with Syria, the US has signaled its opposition, emphasizing its desire for a political transition in which Assad is eventually replaced in elections.3
- Assad had traveled to Saudi Arabia on Thursday for the regional bloc's 32nd summit in Jeddah — a significant step in normalizing relations between Damascus and the Arab world.4
- Though relations soured after 2011, the momentum for reaccepting Syria into the Arab fold has increasingly picked up steam after 2018, when the UAE re-established ties with Damascus, and more recently following the February earthquake in northern Syrian and southern Turkey.5
- Arab normalization with Syria comes alongside the backdrop of a Chinese-brokered agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have supported opposing sides across the region, including in Syria, in March that restored diplomatic ties.3
Sources: 1Al Jazeera (a), 2Reuters, 3NPR Online News, 4Associated Press, and 5Al Jazeera (b).
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by BBC News.
- The development that the 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.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Al Arabiya News. Syria's readmission to the Arab League was a long overdue step, and it underscores recent efforts by regional powers to pursue their own policies — independent of the US — to build peace and stability. 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 failure in Syria is a victory for peace.