May 16, 2023

The Arab movements, which have escalated since the earthquake occurred on February 6, have provided indications that the Syrian regime will soon return to the Arab League, after the failed attempt prior to the previous summit held in Algeria.

These speculations were reinforced by the rapprochement of Saudi Arabia (the host country of the summit) with the regime, and the statements of the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, on February 18, in which he touched on what he said was an “Arab consensus” that the current situation in Syria should not continue.

In light of the talk about a possible visit by Ibn Farhan to Damascus, to invite Bashar al-Assad to attend the Arab summit, before the surprise visit of the Syrian Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Miqdad, to Riyadh on April 12, some Arab countries adhere to their position rejecting the return of the regime in the absence of any political development that pushes forward. Towards a solution in the Syrian file, which has been discussed over the course of 12 years by many political tracks, without achieving tangible achievement.

Five countries

In a report published by The Wall Street Journal on April 12, on the positions of Arab countries on the possible return of Assad to the League, the newspaper pointed out that there are no less than five countries that reject the return of the regime.

According to the newspaper, the countries of Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen and Egypt are taking a position that does not agree with the vision of the countries calling for this return.

Why does Morocco refuse?

Each of the aforementioned countries carries with it its supposed refusal to return, political justifications, including what stems from internal files, and others related to the Syrian file, as sources quoted by the “Wall Street Journal” justified the Moroccan refusal to support the Syrian regime for the “Polisario” front.

The conflict over the Western Sahara region between Morocco and the “Polisario Front” dates back to the period after the Spanish occupation, specifically in 1975, and this conflict turned into an armed form that extended since 1991, and stopped with the signing of the cease-fire decision based on the proposals of the Secretary-General submitted to the United Nations in 1988. .

In September of 1991, the United Nations defined the Kararat region (a small geographical area in the disputed Western Sahara, located 11 kilometers from the border with Mauritania, and five kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean, and is under the control of Morocco) as a buffer zone between the “Polisario” and the forces. Moroccan.

Qatar maintains its position on the return of the regime to the Arab League, betting that the reasons for suspending membership in the first place will continue to return.

During an interview he gave to “Qatar” TV, Thursday, the Qatari Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, said, “Nothing is on the table, it is all speculation through the media.”

He added that there were reasons for suspending Syria’s membership and boycotting the regime at that time, and the reasons still exist for the State of Qatar at least.

“It is true that the war has stopped, but the Syrian people are still displaced. There are innocent people in prisons. We do not want to impose solutions on the Syrian people. It is the Syrian people who must reach a political solution.”

Qatar’s unilateral position is evident in not taking any step unless there is political progress and a political solution to the Syrian crisis, according to the Qatari official

Kuwait and Yemen

At a time when the Saudi foreign minister spoke during the “Munich Security 2023” conference about an Arab consensus on Syria, Kuwait confirmed through its foreign minister, Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, that its position on the regime is fixed, and that there are no plans for normalization after the earthquake.

The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the internationally recognized Yemeni government, despite its close association with Saudi Arabia, also opposes immediate normalization with the Syrian regime, due to its support for the “Houthi” group.

Egypt.. is suspicious

The newspaper’s talk about the Egyptian rejection of the regime’s return contradicts the political movement on the ground between Damascus and Cairo. Al-Miqdad visited Egypt on April 1, for the first time since 2011, with the aim of setting steps for Syria’s return to the Arab League, through Egyptian-Saudi mediation, according to Reuters. On the authority of an Egyptian security source.

On February 27, the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, visited Damascus, and met Al-Miqdad and Al-Assad, but at the same time linked the visit to human solidarity, refusing to comment on the political dimensions behind the visit.

Today, Friday, a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq is scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia, to discuss the position on the return of the Syrian regime to the Arab League, according to what was stated by the official spokesman for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Majed Al-Ansari, last Tuesday.

On the possibility of Syria’s participation in the Arab summit in Riyadh, al-Assad made it clear that Syria’s membership is frozen, and that attending the summit requires canceling the freeze, which in turn requires an Arab summit to discuss this issue.

He also considered, during an interview he gave to “Russia Today” channel, on March 16, during his fifth visit during the revolution to Russia, that the Arab League is “an arena for settling scores,” and one should not return to it when it is an arena of division, but rather when it is a title of consensus.

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