The Arab League will hold a session for the permanent representatives of its members on Sunday in order to authorize the restoration of relations with Syria including the reopening of all embassies in Damascus, the al-Ahram al-Arabi newspaper reported on Saturday citing Arab officials.
Syria’s membership in the Arab League was suspended in late 2011 after the failure of the Arab peace plan for Syria. Back then, the league also called on all Arab states to close their embassies in Damascus and impose sanctions on the Syrian government.
The officials told the Egyptian newspaper that there is a split inside the Arab League over restoring Syria’s membership. According to the source, a group of Arab states believe that the country’s membership should be restored during Sunday’s session in order to allow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to attend the upcoming economic summit in Lebanon this month, and the general summit in Tunisia next April.
However, a second group of Arab states wants to restore Syria’s seat during general summit in Tunisia so that Arab leaders themselves make the decision.
Last month, Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir, became the first Arab leader to visit Syria and meet with Assad since the outbreak of the Syrian war. The meeting marked the restart of Syrian-Arab relations, as both the UAE and Bahrain reopened their embassies in Damascus days later.
Several reports claim that Saudi-Arabi and Egypt are leading the efforts to restore Syria’s seat in the Arab league in order to drive Assad’s government away from Iran and counter the growing influence of Turkey in the war-torn country.