Relations with Assad normalized, Arab League re-recognizes Syria

  • Syria had been suspended from the league since 2011
  • Some countries asked for terms of Syria return
  • US official says Syria does not deserve re-entry
  • Qatar says no change in position on normalizing ties

CAIRO (Reuters) – The Arab League on Sunday stepped up regional efforts to re-recognize Syria after more than a decade of suspension and normalize relations with President Bashar al-Assad. Washington criticized this.

The decision said Syria could immediately resume its participation in Arab League meetings, while resolving crises stemming from Syria’s civil war, including the flight of refugees to neighboring countries and drug smuggling across the region. I am looking for

Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates, are pressuring to end Assad’s isolation, but some opposed Toward full normalization of the Syrian conflict without a political solution, ask for conditions for the return of Syria.

Qatar, which previously opposed Syria’s return to the League, has not changed its position on normalization and hopes a regional consensus on Syria will “motivate the Syrian regime to address the roots of the crisis”. a foreign ministry spokesman said. State news agency QNA.

“The restoration of Syria does not mean the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Syria,” Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Abul Gait told reporters in Cairo. “This is a sovereign decision for each country to make.”

SYRIA called on Arab countries to show “mutual respect.”

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Washington shares the goals of its Arab partners in Syria, including building security and stability, but noted that “Assad’s willingness to take the necessary steps to resolve the Syrian crisis” skeptical,” he said.

“At this time, I do not believe that Syria deserves to rejoin the Arab League,” said the spokesperson, adding that US sanctions remain in full force.

But Russia, an ally of the Assad regime, welcomed Syria’s re-entry.

“Moscow welcomes this long-awaited measure, which is a process gaining momentum of returning Syria to the ‘Arab family’,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement. It is the logical result of

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Sunday’s decision said Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and the secretaries-general of the Arab League would form a ministerial group to liaise with the Syrian government and seek solutions to the crisis through mutual measures.

Practical steps included continued efforts to expedite the delivery of aid in Syria, according to a copy of the decision seen by Reuters.

Syria’s re-entry follows Jordan’s initiative to develop a roadmap to end the Syrian conflict, including addressing issues of refugees, missing detainees, drug smuggling and Iranian militias in Syria. .

Jordan, a destination for Captagon, a highly addictive amphetamine produced in Syria, and a major transit route to the oil-rich Gulf states, has been shunned by one side to curb multi-billion dollar trade. suggesting that they may take similar actions.

Jordanian officials said Syria needed to show it was serious about a political settlement.

Syria’s membership in the Arab League pause in 2011 after a crackdown on street protests against Assad that led to a civil war. Several Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have begun backing rebel groups fighting to oust Assad from power.

Assad has since regained control of much of Syria with the help of his main allies Iran and Russia, but the war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions out of the country. escaped. Syria remains divided with an economy in ruins.

Recently, Arab countries are trying to reach a consensus on whether to invite Assad. Arab League Summit Discuss the pace and terms of normalization in Riyadh on 19 May.

In response to questions about whether Assad would be able to attend, Abul Gheit told reporters:

Saudi Arabia, which has long resisted restoring ties with Assad, said it needed a new approach with Damascus after its recent rapprochement with Iran, Syria’s main regional ally.

Reporting by Aidan Lewis Editing by Omar Abdel Razek

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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