Aboul Gheit: Syria’s return to the Arab League depends on Damascus’ positions and Arab consensus

The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, spoke on Wednesday about the return of Syria’s membership in the upcoming Arab summit in Algeria, based on the response of the regime in Damascus to the proposed Arab positions.

In a press statement to him on the sidelines of a visit to Jordan, Aboul Gheit said that until “this moment” it does not seem that Syria will participate in the Arab summit, but added, “But from here until the matter is convened, and if consultation takes place between member states on a specific approach, and if they agree To talk to the government in Syria and for the government in Syria to respond also to the proposed Arab positions.”

He continued, “Then I imagine that there will be nothing to prevent its return, but if it is not achieved, I do not say conditionalities, but I say the consensual framework between the Arab group represented by 21 countries on the one hand and Syria on the other hand.”

Aboul Gheit pointed out that there are countries that do not see a current return to Syria; Because the positions are still the same, as he indicated to other parties calling for interaction with the government in Syria.

He said that he hopes “this return to achieve strength for the League to return to Syria compatible with the region itself, and I follow the positions of the Arab countries and everyone is moving with great caution.”

In response to the obstacles to Syrian return, Aboul Gheit referred to International Resolution No. 2254, which demands specific positions, and an international mediator speaks to the opposition and the Syrian government about specific steps for each party, and said that the Arab League is following up.

However, he said that no one but the Arabs has the right to allow Syria to return to the Arab League, and that the objections of major foreign powers are a matter of it, and the Arabs are the ones who decide the timing of the return.

Aboul Gheit called for the need for all Arabs to pay attention to the Syrian issue; Millions of Syrians have been severely affected, in addition to Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and the entire region being affected by tension and external interference, whether from regional or major powers.

In November 2011, the League decided to freeze Syria’s membership, against the background of the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s resorting to the military option to quell a popular revolution against his rule that demanded the transfer of power.

Following a consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Kuwait on January 30, Aboul Gheit said that the issue of returning Syria’s seat in the Arab League was not raised at this meeting.

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