Arab foreign ministers met today in Saudi Arabia ahead of the Arab League’s annual summit in the kingdom to discuss the upcoming gathering’s agenda and draft resolutions.
This year’s summit, starting Friday in the city of Jeddah, will mark the readmittance of war-torn Syria into the 22-member league, after a 12-year suspension. Syria’s membership was frozen following Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on the 2011 mass protests against his rule. The country quickly descended into a brutal civil war that has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) May 17, 2023
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad held bilateral meetings this week in the kingdom with several of his counterparts as Damascus continues to appeal for much-needed investment in the war-torn country — crippled by the conflict and Western sanctions — and has moved to restore ties with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq.
Syria’s return to the Arab fold comes as Damascus is also trying to mend ties with Turkey, a key backer of the armed Syrian opposition groups in the country’s northwest.