Indications of Syria’s Imminent Return to the Arab League

There are growing signs that Syria could soon be reinstated into the Arab League after its membership in the organization was suspended in 2011 under tremendous pressure from the USA and its allies. Since then so much has changed in Syria itself and the region that has tipped the balance in favor of President Bashar al Assad and his allies in the war that ravaged the country for nine years.

The United Arab Emirates restored diplomatic ties with Damascus and reopened its embassy in the Syrian capital last year. Bahrain did the same one day later, and Saudi Arabia, bogged down in an absurd war in Yemen and sensing Turkish expansive schemes in Syria and the region, was expected to follow suit, but ⁠— under pressure from hawks in the Trump administration ⁠— has delayed such a step for the time being. The former deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr and his Emir, Hamad Bin Khalifa, have been removed after their plot to remove the Assad regime failed abysmally. The Syrian army has liberated most of the country and controls all but parts of the northeast and Idlib.

From Suspension to Reinstatement: Indications of Syria’s Comeback

Amr Moussa, former Secretary General of the Arab League and former Egyptian Foreign Minister, has indicated in a statement made last week that Syria’s return to the organization could happen sooner than later after 9 years of suspension at the outset of the conflict as part of the so-called Arab Spring, which has destroyed and sabotaged many Arab nations and economies from Libya to Syria and Lebanon under the false flag of democracy and reform. Syria’s readmission into the Arab League has been on the Arab agenda for a couple of years now. Iraq, Algeria and Lebanon are among the strongest advocates of Syria’s readmission to the League of which Syria was a founding and active member.

The majority of Syrians ⁠— feeling betrayed and conspired upon by the Arab League ⁠— stand against such a return, and social media outlets are full of such sentiments. At the last meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York, the current Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmad Abul Gheit, tried to make a point as cameras were rolling, by warmly welcoming the Syrian Foreign Minister and his delegation as they came face to face in the corridors before a UN meeting.The hugs, kisses and cordial remarks by Abul Gheit were met with a cold-shoulder by Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mikdad, who ridiculed Abul Gheit’s remarks.

The Syrian Government believes that the Arab League’s Secretary General has been instrumental in the diplomatic campaign against Damascus, and has taken a negative stance against Syria and its reinstatement into the League.

Before the last Arab summit meeting hosted by Tunisia on 31 March 2019, a consultative gathering was arranged in Amman on January 31, and representatives from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait attended the meeting to discuss returning Syria to the League, but the meeting ended with no agreement.  Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit announced later that there was no consensus on readmitting Syria, thus confirming some member countries’ unwillingness and reluctance to let bygones be bygones.

Winners and Losers: Should Syria be Reinstated into the Arab League?

Although the Syrian leadership will be the main beneficiary of such a major diplomatic and political victory, Damascus, feeling confident and triumphant, insists that it has its own conditions for going back to the Arab League. There’s no love lost between the Assad and the millions of Syrians who have suffered the woes of war for nine long and intolerable years of war and destruction with “brotherly” Arab nations.

Therefore, Syria’s return to the Arab League would signal much more than a mere diplomatic and political gesture for all the parties involved. It would contain a clear message that a new geopolitical map is in the making, with Damascus and Assad at its core.