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After a Decade, League of Arab States in Talks on Syria’s Possible Membership

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The League of Arab States convened on Friday to discuss allowing Syria to join the bloc after that over a decade of Diplomatic isolation amid efforts by some countries to repair relationships in the region.

Ministers and senior officials six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – in addition to Egypt, Iraq and Jordan arrived in The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at the request of the Kingdom.

There was no mention of Syria participates in Conversations preceded by a meeting on Friday between Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and the coordinator of the US National Security Council for Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk.

The kingdom has not yet revealed the details of Jeddah meeting, however up for The debate is the suspension of Syria from the Arab League, which was imposed by President Bashar al-Assad government launched a bloody campaign on Pro-democracy protests in 2011.

With the support of Iran and Russia, Assad has been ostracized by many countries in the Middle East countries He is an outcast from the West over The war that killed more from half million people and forced about half of Before the war in Syria population from others homes.

but on Wednesday, in the latest sign of mitigation in tensions with Damascus, the Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad arrived in grandmother first This visit since the start of the war.

Mekdad and his Saudi counterpart discussed “what is necessary stepsTo end Damascus isolation, according to a Saudi statement on Wednesday.

Any recommendation to return Syria in 22 members of the League of Arab States next scheduled meeting in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in May, likely to attract protests from Western capitals.

“betrayal”

Rehabilitating Syria sends a message to the opposition that Assad will win in end and that their foreign backers would betray them,” Aron Lund of Century International Research Center told AFP (AFP).

population of opposition-held Idlib in Northern Syria, they said they felt “betrayed” before moves To rehabilitate the lion government.

We are the people who live in Northern Syria We felt very betrayed when we heard about normalization with Asaad Rama Sifu 32 who spirits in Idlib told AFP.

How does that happen after 12 years? of struggle And the revolution comes today and says to him: Here is your seat back in the League of Arab States? This is not acceptable, we really felt allowed down. “

But late on Thursday, the prime minister of Qatar – a opponent of the lion government – poured cold water on He speaks of Syria possible Back to the Arab League, saying it is not possible without a political solution.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Al Thani said, “There is nothing proposed, all of this is speculation.” in television interview.

Jeddah meeting one of Wave of Initiatives tracking the landmarks of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran, with Chinese mediation announcement on On March 10, they will resume relations, after seven years of acrimonious split.

also on friday exchange of Nearly 900 prisoners from the civil war in Yemen between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi leadership coalition It began when flights carrying captives were traveling between rebel and government controlled areas.

The Saudi ambassador to Yemen held talks this week with Houthi forces aim to end the devastating civil war that has raged since the Saudi leadership military The intervention began in 2015.

Overcoming Gulf differences

and late on Gas-rich Qatar and its Gulf neighbor agreed Wednesday to restore relations, setting aside a long-running diplomatic dispute.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter, and Iran has long been competing for influence around the region with Yemen, and formerly Syria, are among their proxy conflicts.

But analysts say Saudi Arabia is now trying to calm down region to allow to focus on Ambitious local projects aimed at energy-dependent diversification economy.

Although the League of Arab States take decisions A Riyadh-based diplomat said a unanimous deal was unlikely who declined to be determined.

He added, “The meeting aims to overcome the Gulf differences over Syria as far as possible, “the diplomat told AFP. out The State of Qatar.

The Saudis are at least trying ensure Qatar does not object to the return of Syria to the League of Arab States, if it is issue It is put to any voteDiplomat added.

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