Israeli media discusses the occupation’s fears about the rapprochement between Syria and the Gulf states.
Israeli media discussed the occupation’s stark concerns about the Syrian-Gulf rapprochement, underlining that the development does not bode well for “Israel”, especially amid thawing ties between Iran and the Gulf states.
Israeli KAN public broadcaster Roi Kais said Sunday that the rapprochement between Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the Gulf states “might open up a window of opportunity to affect him and change his policies.”
Meanwhile, the Maariv newspaper said Syria’s return to the Arab embrace of the “New Middle East”, saying that Saudi Arabia inviting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to attend the Arab Summit set to be held in Riyadh in May will end “Syria’s political marginalization between the Arab States”, which has been ongoing since the war broke out on the country in 2011.
Hossam Zaki, the League of Arab States (LAS) Assistant Secretary-General, confirmed last week that “the 32nd Arab summit is expected to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 19,” adding that heads of government are also expected to attend the Arab Development Summit in Mauritania and the Arab-African Summit in Saudi Arabia this year as well.
Sources reported that Al-Assad might be invited by Saudi Arabia to the Arab League summit that is due to be hosted in Riyadh on May 19.
Maariv added that Al-Assad’s participation in the Arab League summit will make for an “important development” in the rapprochement between Syria and the Arab States. According to the newspaper, Syria’s return to the Arab embrace “will mostly be symbolic, but it will reflect a change in the regional stance on Syria.”
Several Arab countries rushed to Syria’s aid after the February 6 earthquake that killed tens of thousands in the war-torn country and neighboring Turkey. At the time, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called his Syrian counterpart in unprecedented support since El-Sisi took office in 2014.
Finally, the Israeli newspaper commented on Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad’s visit to Cairo, saying it “aimed to put steps for Syria’s return to the Arab League under Egyptian and Saudi mediation.”
After Syria was suspended from the organization in 2011, both Western and Arab nations boycotted him as a result of the protests that turned violence into war. However, this return to the organization would not only alter the regional approach towards Syria and the conflict but also Syria’s involvement in regional politics.
Egypt recently resumed contact with Syria after both parties agreed to fortify cooperation, marking the first official visit by a Syrian foreign minister to Egypt in more than a decade. Egypt served as a mediator alongside Saudi Arabia to facilitate Syria’s return to the League.
Meanwhile, Israel Hayom saw Al-Assad’s invitation to the Arab summit in Riyadh as coming in light of a major change in the kingdom’s foreign policy, which has seen it bolster its ties with China and warm up to Iran.
After seven years of strained ties, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore diplomatic relations and re-open their embassies series of talks brokered in Beijing, China under the auspices of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Simultaneously, several Arab countries reflected their views on the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia most notably the UAE, Egypt, and Qatar. The countries touched on the subject by expressing hope for the future.
On the other hand, nations like the US and Qatar have been demonstrating opposition to resuming ties with Syria, using al-Assad’s government situation as an excuse and asking to see progress for a political solution in the country.
If Saudi Arabia and Syria establish a concrete agreement and resumption of ties, it will be the second victory against the desires of the West following the landmark agreement earlier last month between Saudi Arabia and Iran.