Libya Welcomes Arab League’s Readmission of Syria


On Sunday, Libya’s permanent representative to the Arab League, Ambassador Abdul-Muttalib Thabet welcomed the decision to readmit Syria to the league, after a 12-year suspension.

Ambassador Thabet participated in the meeting of Arab foreign ministers, in its emergency session, which was held in Cairo.

According to a statement, the meeting discussed the situation in Syria, Sudan, and Palestine. Russia and Iran formally announced their support for the decision, while Washington criticised the move.

According to Reuters, the Arab League readmitted Syria on Sunday after more than a decade of suspension, consolidating a regional push to normalise ties with President Bashar Al-Assad.

The decision said Syria “could resume its participation in Arab League meetings immediately,” while calling for a resolution to the civil war, the flight of refugees to neighbouring countries, and drug smuggling across the region.

“The reinstatement of Syria does not mean normalisation of relations between Arab countries and Syria,” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit told reporters in Cairo. “This is a sovereign decision for each country to make.”

In November 2011, the League decided to suspend Syria’s membership. They also announced economic and political sanctions against Damascus, and urged the Syrian army not to use violence against anti-regime demonstrators.

In March, the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh called for the lifting of sanctions on Syria, after the deadly earthquake hit the country.

During his visit to Damascus, as a part of an Arab parliamentarian delegation, Saleh said Libya supports the Syrian people and its leadership.

“We came to confirm our solidarity and stand with Syria. We are in the frontline along with Syria’s supporters,” Saleh said during a meeting with Al-Assad. He noted that the Libyan Parliament supports the return of Syria to what he called the “Arab family.”

Saleh noted that he is “proud of the leadership of Bashar Al-Assad. I am proud to meet with Al-Assad, despite the conspiracies against him.”

According to the Libyan Parliament’s statement, on Sunday, Saleh’s visit comes to “confirm Arab support for the Syrian people, after the devastating earthquake.” The statement affirmed the need for “joint Arab action at all levels for Syria’s return to the Arab family.”