The Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League, Hossam Zaki, has refuted claims that the Ministerial Committee on Syria suspended its meetings due to the Assad regime’s lack of response.
Last week, Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that the Arab ministerial committee responsible for overseeing Arab normalization with the Assad regime had halted its meetings due to a lack of response to the proposed roadmap. The newspaper cited sources in Arab diplomacy who noted that the Assad regime had not made any substantial contributions regarding the three key issues forming the foundation of the recent Arab outreach.
These three issues include ensuring the safe return of refugees to their home country, progressing towards a political resolution and taking tangible measures to combat the illegal drug trade and Captagon pills.
Following these reports, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency suggested that US pressure was responsible for the suspension of meetings of the Arab Liaison Committee on Syria, citing unsatisfactory outcomes from recent gatherings.
The agency claimed, “The economic sanctions imposed by the United States against the Syrian regime have hindered its reintegration into the Arab world, thereby leading to the suspension of contacts with Damascus by the Special Committee of the League of Arab States.”
However, Hossam Zaki, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League, denied these reports.
Emile Hakim, the Director of Regional Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, elaborated on the deadlock in Syrian reintegration efforts. According to Hakim, the lack of substantive progress has allowed Assad to claim a symbolic victory that will impede Arab participation for years to come.
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.