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Arab League votes to readmit Syria as members begin to normalise ties with President Assad

The Arab League voted to readmit Syria after more than 10 years of suspension following a brutal crackdown against street protests which led to civil conflict.

The lifting of the sanctions is part of a regional effort to normalise relations with Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.

Gamal Roshdy said that the decision was made at a closed-door meeting between representatives of Arab governments at the headquarters of the League in Cairo, Egypt’s capital.

The Arab League, founded in 1945, is an informal alliance consisting of more than two dozen Arab nations that have agreed to cooperate in economic and military matters.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Syria’s league membership was suspended in 2011, as a civil conflict broke out, which led to more than a half-million deaths.

Although the civil war continues, the Assad government, which is accused of using chemical weaponry against the Syrian people, has widely been considered to have won this conflict.

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Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab countries have recently re-engaged Syria through high-level meetings and visits.

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How Assad won civil war

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Image: Children suffering from the effects of suspected gas attacks in Syria. Pic: UOSSM

Some, such as Qatar, are still opposed to a full normalisation of the situation in Syria without a political resolution.

The vote took place in Egypt’s capital just days after top regional diplomats met with Jordanian officials to discuss a plan to bring Syria back into the Arab fold, as the conflict continues de-escalating. It also came before Saudi Arabia hosted the Arab League Summit scheduled for 19 May.

In addition to the decision to allow Syria to return, it also involves a commitment to a dialogue with Arab governments in order to reach a gradual political solution for the conflict. This is in accordance with Resolution 2254 of United Nations Security Council.

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