Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Ali Al-Hakim announced that his country will officially demand Syria’s return to the Arab League.
During a press conference after the Arab League foreign minister meeting on Saturday held as a result of Egypt’s request to discuss the Turkish cross-border offensive in Syrian, Al-Hakim said that most Arab countries were in support of Syria’s return to the body.
He also stressed that with the exception of Qatar and Somalia, all Arab countries were committed to preserving Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, describing Turkey’s actions in north-east Syria as an “invasion of an Arab state’s land and aggression on its sovereignty”. Turkey has military bases in both Qatar and Somalia.
Lebanese Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, reiterated Al-Hakim’s sentiments regarding Syria’s membership by asking: “Isn’t it time for Syria to return to the Arab League?”
Al-Hakim has previously been vocal on the reinstatement of Syria’s membership and last year his predecessor, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, affirmed Baghdad’s position by urging the Arab League to accept Syria’s return.
As Turkey presses ahead with its Operation Peace Spring, Syrian Kurds have reportedly reached an agreement with Damascus involving the deployment of Syrian troops near the Turkish border. According to Al Manar, the Syrian forces have already entered the north-eastern town of Tel Tamer.
Syria’s membership in the league has been suspended since 2011, when the Syrian government launched a harsh crackdown on pro-democracy protests, sparking eight years of civil war.