published by: Saurabh Verma
Last update: April 30, 2023, 7:54 PM HST
Arab foreign ministers will meet in Jordan on Monday to discuss the long-running conflict in Syria and ending Damascus’ diplomatic isolation in the region, the foreign ministry in Amman said.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been politically isolated since the start of the conflict in his country in 2011.
However, recent weeks have seen a flurry of diplomatic activity after Saudi Arabia and Iran – a close ally of Damascus – resumed diplomatic relations in March, altering regional relations.
Monday’s meeting in Amman will bring together foreign ministers from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
The talks “will take stock of the contacts of these countries with the Syrian government to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis”, said a statement from the Foreign Ministry on Sunday.
He called the meeting “a continuation of the consultative meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council countries Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia” in mid-April.
At the meeting, nine Arab states met in Jeddah to discuss ending Syria’s long stint in the diplomatic wilderness and its possible return to the 22-member Arab League after Damascus’ suspension in 2011.
The diplomats stressed “the importance of having an Arab leadership role in efforts to end the crisis” in Syria, according to a statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
The United Arab Emirates restored relations with Damascus at the end of 2018. In April, Syria and Tunisia also announced that they would reopen diplomatic missions in their respective capitals.
Regional opponents to the reintegration of Damascus remain, however. Qatar, which has backed Syrian rebel groups, called the idea of Syria’s return to the Arab League “mere speculation”.
Syria’s 12-year war has claimed an estimated half a million lives and nearly half of its population is now refugees or internally displaced.
Sections of territory still remain outside the control of the government.
Assad hopes that the full normalization of ties with wealthy Gulf monarchies will help fund the reconstruction of the country’s war-ravaged infrastructure.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)