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Arab League must re-evaluate Syria membership suspension: Ambassador

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali says his country must return to the Arab League, calling on the 22-member regional organization to reconsider “its wrong decision to suspend Syria’s membership.”

“The Arab League needs Syria because it cannot function well without it. The organization has violated its charter by suspending Syria’s membership in the organization,” Arabic-language online newspaper Elnashra quoted Ali as saying on Friday.

He added that the Arab League made this decision under pressure from the United States and Europe.

“It has become clear that many Arab countries noticed that they have an interest to resume their diplomatic ties with Syria and to return the country to the organization,” Ali said.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on February 3 that his country will eventually return to the Arab League, stressing that the Damascus government will never surrender to blackmail or accept conditions for the restoration of its membership to the regional organization.

“Those who are trying to ignore Syria or to impose conditions for its return to the Arab League will not succeed, since Syria will not surrender to blackmail and is not primarily concerned with anything other than its domestic problems,” Mekdad said.

He added that certain anti-Syria decisions are being made by some Arab states on the instructions of extra-regional powers.

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, citing alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests. Syria denounced the move as “illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”

The issue of possible restoration of Syria’s membership in the Arab League comes especially after a recent move by some Arab countries to re-open their embassies in Damascus.

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry announced in a statement on December 28, 2018 that work at the kingdom’s embassy in the Syrian Arab Republic was going on while the embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic to Bahrain was carrying out its duties and flights connecting the two countries were operational without interruption.

The United Arab Emirates had earlier officially reopened its embassy in Damascus.

The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the reopening of its embassy “reaffirms the keenness of the United Arab Emirates to restore relations between the two friendly countries to their normal course.”

The move “will strengthen and activate the Arab role in supporting the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to prevent the dangers of regional interference in Syrian Arab affairs,” the ministry said.

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