Syrian President Assad may attend upcoming Arab League summit, says Secretary-General

Ahram Online , AFP , Sunday 7 May 2023

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad can attend an Arab League summit later this month "if he wishes to," Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Sunday after Syria was readmitted to the League.

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Abul-Gheit. File/AFP

In a press conference held after two emergency meetings of Arab foreign ministers on Sudan and Syria, Ahmed Abul-Gheit emphasised that the Syrian crisis is not over just because Syria has rejoined the Arab League and that it is up to each member state to reestablish diplomatic ties with Syria.

A unanimous agreement by the Arab League's foreign ministers stated that "government delegations from the Syrian Arab Republicwill resume their participation in meetings."

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership in 2011 after the war broke out there following massive protests. Several member states then recalled their ambassadors from Damascus, accusing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad of cracking down on demonstrators in the country.

Assad has been politically isolated since then. Yet, recent weeks have seen a flurry of diplomatic activity ahead of an Arab League summit in the Saudi city of Jeddah on May 19. 

While the front lines have mostly quietened, large parts of the country's north remain outside government control, and no political solution has yet been reached to the 12-year-old conflict.

Sudan Crisis

Abul-Gheit urged the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to negotiate a ceasefire and hold negotiations to bring stability to the nation regarding the current situation there.

He added that the Arab League had resolved to form a communication committee composed of some of its members to achieve a truce in Sudan and maintain state institutions. He emphasised the importance of preventing Sudan from becoming a conflict that could splinter the nation.

The Secretary-General also denounced the Rapid Support Forces' takeover of the Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development's Khartoum headquarters and conversion of it into a military barracks.


Short link: