Arab League: Ending Syria’s Suspension Needs Consensus

Arab League: Ending Syria’s Suspension Needs Consensus – Asharq Al-Awsat

Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League, Hossam Zaki, stated Monday that a decision to end the suspension of Syria’s membership from the pan-Arab body needs the consensus of all member states, adding there are no indicators for such possible change.

Speaking to reporters at the League headquarters in Cairo, he said that so far there are no signs of a change in the organization’s stance on Syria’s membership.

“There must be consensus among member states in order to end Damascus’ suspension,” he added.

In response to the regime’s crackdown on peaceful protests, the 22-member Arab League suspended in 2011 the membership of Syria in a vote supported by 18 countries and opposed by Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Iraq opted to abstain from voting.

Members of the League have insisted that the regime should implement the Arab initiative in order to resume relations and reinstate Syria as a member.

Zaki said member states have discussed the issue, but they did not lead to an agreement.

The official also denied that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had coordinated with the League before visiting Damascus ten days ago.

Moreover, Zaki said the Arab League supports efforts to solve the Libyan crisis, expressing hopes that Libyans place their country’s interest above all other considerations.

Commenting on the situation in Yemen, he criticized the UN special envoy for not keeping the Arab League informed about the efforts to end the crisis there.

He said League’s Secretary General, Ahmed Abul Gheit already informed the UN Secretary General about the issue, adding that UN envoys to Libya and Syria “always coordinate with the League to reach solutions for Arab crises.”

In addition, he revealed that the first Arab-European Summit would convene in Egyptian capital Cairo on February 24 and 25.

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