Cairo: Arab government representatives in Cairo on Sunday voted to return Syria to the Arab League after a 12-year suspension.
The vote in the Egyptian capital came days after regional top diplomats met in Jordan to discuss a roadmap to return Syria to the Arab fold as the conflict continues to de-escalate, and soon before Saudi Arabia hosts the upcoming Arab League Summit on May 19.
The decision for Syria to return also includes a commitment to ongoing dialogue with Arab governments to gradually reach a political solution to the conflict, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.
The Arab League in the decision also set up a communications committee consisting of Saudi Arabia and Syria’s neighbours Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq to follow up on developments.
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There is still no Arab consensus on normalisation with Damascus. Several governments did not attend the meeting. Among the most notable absentees was Qatar, which continues to back opposition groups against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, and continues to resist normalization with Damascus.
Syria’s membership in the Arab League was suspended 12 years ago early on in the uprising turned-conflict, which has killed nearly a half million people since March 2011 and displaced half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Samer Shoukry in a public statement before the meeting said only an Arab-led ”political solution without foreign dictates” can end the ongoing conflict that restores Syria’s unity and stability and allow refugees and the internally displaced to return.
”The different stages of the Syrian crisis proved that it has no military solution, and that there is no victor nor defeated in this conflict,” he added. few weeks.