At a time when the Syrian political arena is witnessing a notable Arab movement and calls to return Damascus to its Arab surroundings, there are some obstacles and problems caused by some Arab countries that still declare their rejection of Syria’s return to its seat in the Arab League. In light of this, Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad is conducting a tour of Arab capitals, starting from Saudi Arabia and continuing on to Algeria and Tunisia, with reports indicating that he may later head to Iraq.
On Monday, Minister Mekdad begins a visit to Tunisia at the invitation of his Tunisian counterpart, Nabil Ammar, to discuss various issues. The Tunisian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement issued on Sunday that “this visit comes as a consecration of the longstanding brotherly ties between the two countries and within the framework of keenness to restore bilateral relations to their normal track. This follows the appointment of an ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia in the Syrian Arab Republic and the decision of the Syrian authorities to reopen the Syrian embassy in Tunisia, with the appointment of an ambassador at its head. This is for the good and interest of the two brotherly peoples.”
According to Tunisian media, this visit is seen as reflecting the regional geopolitical balances in the Arab region, including the push for Syria’s return to the Arab League.
Sources knowledgeable about the ongoing Arab consultations regarding Syria confirm that there are disagreements on certain points and agreements on others among the Gulf countries involved. The newspaper Al-Arab quoted informed sources stating that “an implicit agreement overshadowed the atmosphere of the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting, with the belief that the re-establishment of relations between Arab capitals and Damascus is a sovereign matter for each of them. This is beneficial for humanitarian and political reasons as it opens doors for Damascus to readapt to the environment of Arab relations, and provides avenues for a political settlement of the crisis.”
With regards to Damascus’ potential return to the Arab League, the sources have reported that “side dialogues held by some ministers suggested that it may be unreasonable for Damascus to rejoin the Arab League before millions of Syrian refugees have returned to their country so that the countries hosting them do not continue to bear the burden.” The sources added that “on this basis, the consultative meeting concluded with a stance that indicates there is no immediate return of Damascus to the Arab League, but that does not preclude the resumption of bilateral relations with Syria at the same time.”
This article was translated and 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.