Arab News sources suggest that Syria will achieve a "conditional return" in a new step towards the normalization of relations
The foreign ministers of the Arab League will vote this Sunday on the return of Syria to the organization from which it was expelled after the outbreak of the war in the country, and to which it could return "conditionally", according to Arab News sources. , amid fears from members including Yemen, Morocco, Kuwait and Qatar over the proximity of relations between Damascus and Tehran.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has said this week that Syria could gather enough votes to rejoin the Arab League during Sunday's meeting in Cairo. Safadi said in an interview with CNN that it is also "very likely" that, if the vote is favourable, Syrian President Bashar al Assad will attend the next League summit on May 19 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
"The whole movement in the Arab world to try to play a leading role in the efforts to achieve a political end to the Syrian crisis took place in a context, a reality in which there was no effective effort to resolve the crisis," he said. Safadi, who believes that this context has changed.
The return of Syria would be "symbolic", but according to the minister it would serve to put an end to the crisis that the country has been experiencing for more than a decade. In addition, he has detailed that all the countries of the Arab League are in favor of this re-entry, although there are discrepancies on the best way to do it.
His reincorporation into the organization would mean a new step in the normalization of Syria's relations with the Arab world, after the foreign ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt met this week with their Syrian counterpart in Amman.
The push for Syria's return to the Arab League has the backing of Saudi Arabia and nuanced support from Egypt. Both are allies of Western countries, although they have maintained an independent stance on aspects of regional politics. This position is interpreted by analysts as a change of third on the part of Arab countries that consider that greater coordination would be more beneficial than clashes with Iran, which maintains good relations with Russia and China.
However, there is reluctance to the Saudi plans to heal the differences and welcome Syria back into the Arab League, a plan supported by the Emirati authorities. Thus, sources quoted by 'The Washington Post' have detailed that Yemen, Morocco, Kuwait and Qatar reject the return of Damascus to the organization, while pointing out that Egypt is showing skepticism. All these countries ask Al Assad for a political process with the opposition in the face of international rehabilitation.
In fact, last month, the foreign ministers of Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan criticized the renewed interest of the Saudis and recalled that Tehran has military advisers inside Syria who exert enormous influence on Damascus. "Everyone asked what Saudi Arabia was getting out of all this," according to one of the sources consulted. "It seems that we are dropping our pants for the Iranians," a diplomatic source told the 'Financial Times'.
Another big problem resides in the fact that Syria has become the epicenter of the trafficking of Captagon, an enormously addictive amphetamine distributed throughout the region -- countries like Iraq seize hundreds of thousands of pills every month --, and that it has become for the Syrian regime a vital livelihood for its survival.
To the point, the sources of the 'Financial Times' affirm that "Syria has become a narco-state that generates between 4,000 and 5,000 million dollars a year. We cannot pay a price for it," according to another source close to the meeting, who even fears a scenario in which "Syria ends up even ordering us to ask for forgiveness".
Al Assad has so far shown no willingness to make political change in the country, a possibility that seems even more remote thanks to the support of Iran and Russia and the willingness of several countries in the region to recognize that he remains firmly at the head of Syria. , plunged into a deep crisis and practically devastated by war.
The Syrian president has tried, however, to approach other capitals to obtain support and, especially, financing to revive the Syrian economy and begin reconstruction. In this context, he has used the earthquakes registered in February in southern Turkey, which left thousands dead in the Arab country, as a spearhead to demand funds and international aid.