BEIRUT (AP) — Arab overseas ministers met Wednesday in Saudi Arabia forward of the Arab League’s annual summit within the kingdom to debate the upcoming gathering’s agenda and draft resolutions.
This yr’s summit, beginning Friday within the metropolis of Jeddah, will mark the readmittance of war-torn Syria into the 22-member league, after a 12-year suspension. Syria’s membership was frozen following Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on the 2011 mass protests in opposition to his rule. The nation rapidly descended right into a brutal civil conflict that has killed almost half 1,000,000 individuals and displaced half of the nation’s pre-war inhabitants of 23 million.
Syrian Overseas Minister Faisal Mekdad held bilateral conferences this week within the kingdom with a number of of his counterparts as Damascus continues to enchantment for much-needed investment in the war-torn country — crippled by the battle and Western sanctions — and has moved to revive ties with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq.
Syria’s return to the Arab fold comes as Damascus is also trying to amend ties with Turkey, a key backer of the armed Syrian opposition teams within the nation’s northwest.
However a number of Arab international locations stay skeptical of Syria’s return to the league, primarily Qatar.
Qatar’s prime diplomat, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, mentioned Wednesday that his nation opposes Syria’s return however that it would not wish to stand “in opposition to the Arab consensus.” Every Arab nation, nevertheless, can unilaterally normalize relations with Syria, he mentioned.
For that to occur from Qatar’s perspective, Syria must go “by a simply and complete resolution” to its battle, Sheikh Mohammed added.
The summit additionally comes as Arab governments are scrambling to resolve the battle in Sudan between the navy, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the rival paramilitary Speedy Help Forces, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The preventing within the East African nation, which broke out in mid-April, has left over 600 individuals useless and displaced tens of hundreds.
Related Press reporters Nick El Hajj and Lujain Jo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this story.