Syria has been readmitted to the Arab League after being suspended for over a decade due to a government crackdown on anti-Assad protesters that led to war. This move comes as President Bashar al-Assad seeks to normalize relationships with other Arab nations.
About Arab League
- The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa and Western Asia, formed in Cairo, Egypt, in March 1945.
- The league’s headquarters is in Cairo, Egypt
- Its current Secretary-General is Ahmed Aboul Gheit of Egypt.
- Its purpose is to promote political cooperation among its member countries and to protect their economic and political interests.
- The league has 22 members, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, among others.
- It operates through various committees and sub-committees, and its activities include coordination on economic, cultural, and security matters, as well as resolving regional conflicts and supporting the Palestinian cause.
- Some of the key issues addressed by the Arab League include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Syrian civil war, and the ongoing crisis in Yemen.
Why Syria was suspended?
- Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011.
- The suspension came as a result of Syria’s crackdown on anti-government protesters, which led to a civil war in the country.
- The Arab League was concerned about Syria’s human rights violations, including the use of force against peaceful demonstrators.
- The suspension also aimed to pressure the Syrian government to end the violence and initiate political reforms.
- During the suspension period, Syria was excluded from participating in Arab League meetings, and the League imposed economic sanctions on Syria.
Syria’s Restatement into the Arab League
- Foreign ministers from the 22-nation group voted for Syria’s return to the Arab League at a meeting in Cairo.
- The upcoming Arab League summit is scheduled in Saudi Arabia on May 19.
- The league urged resolving the crisis caused by the Syrian civil war, including refugee flight to neighboring countries and drug smuggling across the region.
- While some Arab states have welcomed the decision, others have not.
- The UAE’s diplomatic adviser, Anwar Gargash, tweeted that Syria’s readmission was a positive step for regional prosperity and stability.
- Some other Arab nations want Syria to meet certain conditions before being allowed to return to the Arab League.
- Qatar previously opposed Syria’s return but stated that it would support the Arab consensus and not hinder Syria’s reinstatement.
- Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit clarified that each country has the authority to decide whether to normalize relations with Syria.
- Syria could attend Arab League meetings as a full member.
- Syria is a country located in the Middle East, bordered by Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon.
- The capital of Syria is Damascus, which is also the country’s largest city.
- The official language of Syria is Arabic.
- Syria has a population of approximately 18 million people.
- The currency used in Syria is the Syrian pound.
- The majority of Syrians practice Islam, with the two main branches being Sunni and Shia.
- Syria has a rich cultural history and is home to numerous ancient sites and landmarks, including the ancient city of Palmyra and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.
- Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011, resulting in the displacement of millions of people and significant damage to the country’s infrastructure.
- Syria is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
- Syria’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, oil, and natural gas.
- The current President of Syria is Bashar al-Assad, who has been in power since 2000.
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When did Syria join the Arab League?
Syria joined the Arab League as a founding member in March 1945, shortly before gaining its independence from France. Since then, Syria has been an active member of the Arab League, participating in various political, economic, and social initiatives.
However, due to the Syrian civil war and the government’s response to protests against President Bashar al-Assad, Syria was suspended from the organization in November 2011. This move was a response to the violent crackdown on protesters and opposition groups that led to a devastating civil war in the country.
Syria’s readmission to the League in May 2023, after being suspended for more than a decade, marks a significant development in the ongoing political situation in the region.
Is Israel part of the Arab League?
No, Israel is not a member of the Arab League. It is an organization consisting of 22 member states in the Middle East and North Africa, which aims to promote cooperation among its members and advance their common interests. Israel has historically been excluded from the League due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the lack of recognition of Israel as a legitimate state by some League members