Weeks before the next Arab summit in the Arab League, Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad reiterated during a televised meeting that Syria does not want to raise the issue of its return to the Arab League. Mekdad’s comment comes amidst opposition by some Arab League members to Syria’s return. And according to leaks published by the French website Intelligence Online, Egypt is one of the countries that rejects allowing Syria to resume its Arab League membership.
Rumours that Egypt opposes Damascus’ return to the Arab League conflict with the flexibility previously shown by high-level Egyptian authorities towards the Syrian state.
According to Egyptian experts, Cairo cannot oppose the general opinion of the Arab World. At the same time, however, Egypt wants to join the ranks of countries that have restored their relations with Damascus. “We must understand in the context of the upcoming Arab League summit that there is a keenness to resume Arab-Syrian relations to confront regional movements,” said Tarek Fahmy, a political science professor at Cairo University. “I think that the ball now is not in Syria’s court but the Arab League’s. And the Arab countries must adopt rational approaches. I believe that the issue is not in the Arab world, but there is a need for Syria to participate in the movements of the Eastern Mediterranean and the need to participate in the tripartite alliance between Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. These are the key issues.”
It is noteworthy that Egypt did not take any action during the years of the Syrian war against the Syrian state. According to officials, contact between the two sides did not stop throughout this period — a proposition supported by other facts indicating that there was no rupture between the two countries. Nevertheless, some considerations prevent Cairo from declaring a fixed political position supporting the Syrian state.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.