The recent Arab move to restore the Assad regime’s seat in the Arab League after a 12-year freeze continues to elicit divergent analyses and interpretations. While some analysts suggest that al-Assad’s return was conditional on making concessions to Arab countries, others argue that the move represents a victory for al-Assad, who has been imposed on the Arab arena.
In her article published on Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Syrian writer and journalist Samira Al-Masalmeh views the Arab regime’s decision to normalize relations with al-Assad as a “scandal” that reveals a political and moral reckoning for the Arab countries to their citizens. She notes that the regime’s return to the Arab League does not suggest that it will take any steps to mitigate concerns about the Captagon file, which poses a significant threat to Arab countries.
Al-Masalmeh also argues that the Syrian regime will remain a bridge between Iran and Lebanon, strengthening Iran’s hegemony, which is a cause for concern for several Arab countries. Additionally, neighboring countries are waiting for the regime to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees, which was emphasized in the statement of the Amman Consultative Meeting.
Muthanna Abdullah, in his article on Arabi 21, suggests that the Syrian refugee file is a test for the Syrian regime, which must provide strong security guarantees for returnees.
According to a source, the Syrian regime considers Syrian refugees to be the “popular incubator” of terrorism and may not be able to receive them. Writer Samira al-Masalmeh believes that the problem of Syrian refugees will remain unresolved due to the current political, economic, security, and social conditions.
Meanwhile, writer Malik Wannous believes that the Arabs are competing with the Iranians for the Syrian regime, which appears to be highly compatible with the Iranians. The Arab foreign ministers’ initiative to end the crisis in Syria is progressing quickly and consistent with Resolution 2254.
Regarding undermining the Iranian role in the Arab arena, writer Muthanna Abdullah suggests that the idea of ending Iranian presence in Syria is a fantasy and requires a long wait. He notes that Iranian debts to Syria exceed 50 billion dollars, and a committee was formed to address this issue. During the Iranian president’s recent visit, an agreement was signed to open a new Iranian line of credit, to be invested in the electricity generation sector, among others.
Abdullah concludes with a question about whether, given Iranian hegemony and debt restrictions, the Arab embrace could attract Bashar al-Assad more than the Iranian embrace.
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.