Middle East

Arab League reinstates Syria after 12 years

Syria's membership in Arab League suspended in 2011 over crackdown on pro-democracy protests

Ibrahim al-Khazen  | 07.05.2023 - Update : 08.05.2023
Arab League reinstates Syria after 12 years


The Arab League on Sunday decided to reinstate Syria’s membership after 12 years of suspension.

Addressing a press conference in Cairo, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Arab League foreign ministers agreed to resume the participation of Syrian government delegations in the League meetings.

The decision was taken following a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit confirmed that Syria was readmitted to the pan-Arab body.

Speaking during the same press conference, Aboul Gheit said a follow-up committee was formed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq to follow up on reaching a settlement to the Syrian crisis.

“The establishment of normal relations between Syria and Arab countries is a sovereign decision for each country,” he added.

Earlier reports said that Arab foreign ministers gave their conditional approval for Syria’s return to the Arab League.

According to the Saudi Al Majalla magazine, Syria's return to the Arab League was conditioned on the Syrian regime taking practical steps towards resolving the Syrian crisis.

The decision to reinstate Syria's membership comes ahead of the annual Arab summit in Saudi Arabia on May 19.

Syria was suspended from the 22-state body in 2011 over the regime’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests, which led to a civil war.

The Syrian regime, however, began to exchange official visits and contacts with several Arab countries in recent months.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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