Monday March 25, 2019
Syria was a founding member of the Arab League (AFP Photo/Ahmad ABDO)
CAIRO (Xinhua) -- The resumption of Syria's suspended
membership in the Arab League (AL) is not on the agenda of the Arab
summit scheduled for the end of March in Tunisia, the pan-Arab body said
"Until now, the topic of Syria's return to the AL is not on the
agenda and it was not officially proposed by any party," said Mahmoud
Afifi, AL spokesman, in a statement.
"But the Syrian crisis is on the agenda," he added.
According to the spokesman, the AL summit in Tunisia has about 20
topics on the agenda, including the Palestinian cause, the chaos in
Libya and Yemen and the support of peace and development in Sudan.
The summit will also discuss "Iran's intervention in the affairs of
Arab states," support for Somalia, counterterrorism and the development
of Arab national security system.
Syria's AL membership was suspended in late 2011 in response to the Syrian government's crackdown on protests.
In mid-March, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali urged
the AL to reconsider "its wrong decision" of suspending Syria's
membership, adding that the decision was made "under pressure by the
United States and Europe."
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in January that it is
necessary for the Syrian government to take a number of measures toward a
political settlement to return to the Cairo-based league.
Later in the month, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said
there was positive momentum among Arab countries toward Syria's return
to the AL during the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit held in
Lebanon's capital Beirut.
Following the 2011 anti-government mass protests, the situation in
Syria developed into a civil war of confrontations between
pro-government forces and armed rebels and terrorists from the Islamic
State (IS) militant group.
The forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are backed by Russia,
Iran and Shiite militias loyal to Iran including Lebanon's Hezbollah.
Since its eruption in March 2011, the Syrian crisis has killed half a
million, and wounded or displaced more than 14 million others.