After 12 Years, Arab League Approves Reinstatement Of Syria

The Arab League decided to re-instate Syria on Sunday, ending a 12-year ban and moving one step closer to re-accepting Syrian President Bashar Assad, a longstanding outcast in the region. Some powerful league members are still hostile to Syria's restoration, most notably Qatar, which did not send its foreign minister to the meeting on Sunday. Out of the 22 member nations of the league, 13 sent their foreign ministers to the conference in Cairo. However, although being mostly symbolic, the decision was a win for Damascus, according to the AP. The readmission to the Arab League is not anticipated to result in a swift release of rehabilitation funding in the war-torn nation since Western sanctions against Assad's regime are still in effect.

Early on in the 2011 revolt against Assad's authority, which was greeted with a brutal repression and swiftly descended into a civil war, Syria's membership was suspended. The battle has resulted in the deaths of about 500,000 people and the emigration of half of the 23 million people who lived in the nation prior to the war.

In a televised address, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit stated that the decision, which would enable Assad to attend the group's summit on May 19, is a step toward a peaceful end to the bloodshed. The Syrian issue is not over, he said, adding that this does not imply that it has. But it enables the Arab (states) to speak with the Syrian government for the first time in years to address all the issues. According to Axios, the US is among the move's opponents.

This does not imply that all Arab nations have normalized ties with Damascus, according to Aboul Gheit. He said that "these are sovereign decisions for each state specifically." According to Hussein Arnous, the prime minister of Syria, Syria has endured "misinformation and distortion campaigns launched by our enemies" for the last 12 years.

Assad's detractors saw the shift toward normality as a betrayal. An international advocacy organization called the Syria Campaign's Laila Kiki claimed the action "cruelly betrayed tens of thousands of victims of the regime's war crimes and granted Assad a green light to continue committing horrific crimes with impunity." The Arab League typically seeks unanimity, but sometimes chooses simple majorities. It was unclear which nations had complained during Sunday's session since it took place behind closed doors.

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