Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has hinted at the possibility of Syria’s return to the Arab League during the next Arab summit in March.
"Syria is supposed to be present,” Tebboune told the state television when asked if the next Arab summit in Algeria will see Syria’s return to the Arab League.
He explained that the summit needs to be inclusive and the Arab world unified.
"When we organize an Arab summit, we want it to be an inclusive and a launchpad for the reunification of the fractured Arab world,” Tebboune said. “We are a country that always knits the splintered.”
The majority of the Arab League’s member-states voted on Nov. 12, 2011, to suspend Syria’s membership in response to the regime crimes against Syrian civilians. Algeria was among a few countries that opposed Syria’s suspension.
Since July, Arab normalization with the Syrian regime has accelerated, especially by Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt, represented by mutual meetings, agreements, and economic understandings.
On Nov. 9, the foreign minister of the UAE met with Bashar al-Assad, head of the Syrian regime in the capital Damascus, in the first high-level visit from the Gulf country since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
The next Arab League summit in Algeria in March is expected to discuss restoring Syria’s membership, which has been frozen since 2011 due to the violence of the Assad regime against civilians.
In a related context, Tebboune said the upcoming Algeria summit "will witness a re-submission of the reform file of the Arab League". He, however, did not provide any further details about the nature of these reforms.
He pointed out that "several international organizations such as the United Nations and regional organizations such as the African Union have been reformed internally, with the exception of the Arab League, which has remained unchanged since its establishment."
In March 2011, popular protests erupted in Syria, calling for the start of a peaceful transfer of power, but the Assad regime chose to suppress it militarily, which pushed the country into a devastating civil war.
* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar