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GCC holds consultative meeting to discuss Syria return to Arab League

April 11, 2023 at 7:50 pm

Arab League Summit on February 12, 2023 [Royal Hashemite Court (RHC)/ Anadolu Agency]

The General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has sent invitations to member States to attend a meeting next Friday in the Saudi capital, Jeddah, to discuss the possibility of Syria’s return to the Arab League, a Qatari official said.

A spokesman for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Majid Al-Ansari, said Doha has received the invitation adding that Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, will also participate in the “consultative meeting” since they are “concerned countries”.

He pointed out that there are many developments regarding the situation in Syria, and in the Arab views towards Syria’s return to the Arab League.

In the past two months, the Syrian regime President, Bashar Al-Assad, visited the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the first visit to Arab countries since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011, amid regional efforts to return Syria to the Arab incubator.

Saudi Arabia and Syria are also holding talks regarding the resumption of consular services, after years of suspended ties. Following the outbreak of the conflict in Syria, several Arab countries, especially Gulf States, have severed their diplomatic relations with Syria, closed their embassies in Damascus while the Arab League suspended Syria’s membership.

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Al-Ansari confirmed the participation of the Qatari Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, in the meeting.

He explained that the Qatari position on Syria has not changed, noting that any change “will be mainly linked to the Arab consensus and to a field change that achieves the Syrian people’s aspirations”.

For his part, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the issue of Baghdad’s participation in the meeting is currently being studied.

The General Secretariat of the GCC has not yet confirmed the organisation of the meeting.