No Consensus on Syria at Dead Sea Meeting 

Arab foreign ministers discussed the potential return of Syria to the Arab League, but was unable to make progress on the issue reports Al-Watan.

The former Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister, Mamdouh al-Abadi, said that the recent meeting of Arab foreign ministers held by the Dead Sea, to discuss the potential return of Syria to the Arab League had not been successful due to divisions he did not specify.

Abadi said, in statements carried by the Russian Sputnik agency, “I think that the meeting was not successful and that there are divisions. I am sure there were differences and that they did not agree, but what exactly these were, I’m trying to determine.”

Abadi said, “My judgement is that they were not able to convince the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with regards to the Syria issue. I think the Egyptians are in favor of returning Syria to the Arab League, as are the Emiratis.”

He said that his comments were analysis by him and not fact, saying, “Saudi is still holding their position, and so there was no agreement for anything in common.”

After the meeting, which included foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan at the Dead Sea on Thursday, the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, announced to journalists that the meeting was consultative and that it was not limited to the Thursday session but had been preceded by a nearly six-hour session on Wednesday.

He said that the meeting was an open consultation without an agenda, and was held to discuss how to work to achieve common Arab interests. He described it as fruitful and positive, and did not announce any specific results and did not take questions from journalists.

According to Sputnik, before the meeting a source said that the most prominent issue that would be discussed was the return of Syria to the Arab League. The source said, “This issue will be discussed first, followed by discussions about other issues affecting the region, but I believe that Syria is the most important point that will be worked on.”

The Emirates reopened their embassy in Syria at the end of last year, and although Jordan has raised its level of diplomatic representation in Syria in recent days, and the Arab Summit in Tunisia is approaching, no Arab steps have been announced regarding Syria after the ministerial meeting.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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