A Bloomberg report says the Arab League’s decision to disregard US reservations reflects America’s waning influence in the region.
A report published by Tarek El-Tablawy and Abdel Latif Wahba on Bloomberg considered the Arab League states’ decision to reinstate Syria to the bloc comes “in defiance of US warnings.”
The report cited Hossam Zaki, the Arab League’s Assistant Secretary-General, as saying that the decision was unanimous.
It suggested that “the Arab League decision to disregard US reservations reflects America’s waning influence in the oil-exporting region and a growing willingness among allies to forge their own political path and build stronger strategic ties with US rivals.”
The two writers also mentioned that the decision “could also be a win for Iran and Russia, which have supported Assad militarily but need regional help to rehabilitate him diplomatically and eventually help rebuild a country shattered by a war that’s displaced millions.”
On Sunday, the Council of the Arab League announced readmitting Syria as a full member, 12 years after suspending its membership following the start of the war on the country.
The Council said in a statement that it had been decided to “resume the participation of delegations of the government of the Syrian Arab Republic in the meetings of the Arab League Council and all its affiliated organizations and agencies,” explaining that the decision is effective as of May 7.
The decision comes ten days ahead of a planned Arab summit in Saudi Arabia on May 19, with all eyes now focused on whether Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will personally participate.
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that Al-Assad can attend the summit later this month “if he wishes to.”
US, Qatar comment on readmission of Syria into Arab League
Earlier, the United States criticized the Arab League’s readmission of Syria into the body, yet it said it aligns with its Arab allies on “ultimate objectives”.
A US State Department spokesperson said Washington considers Damascus does not merit to be brought back into the bloc now, questioning the willingness of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to resolve the crisis resulting from the war on the country.
Still, it believes its allies aim with this step to engage with Al-Assad directly to push to solve the country’s crisis, the US spokesperson indicated.
The Arab League’s announcement today came despite strong opposition from the US in recent months.
“We do not believe that Syria merits readmission to the Arab League at this time,” Vedant Patel, the principal deputy spokesperson for the State Department, said in April.
Patel added that the US will not normalize relations with Damascus absent “authentic progress” toward a solution to the ongoing war.
While Qatar also opposed Syria rejoining the Council and echoed on Sunday Washington’s position against normalizing ties with Damascus, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, said Doha will always support anything that brings about Arab consensus, stressing that the Gulf country will not be an obstacle to that process.