AMMAN — Syria should soon be able to return to the Arab League but many challenges lie ahead in resolving the country’s more than a decade-old conflict, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Friday.
The organization suspended Syria’s membership in 2011 over a violent crackdown on an uprising that has evolved into a civil war.
Safadi said Syria had enough votes among the group’s 22 members to regain its seat.
“The return to the league will happen. Symbolically it will be important but … that is only a very humble beginning of what will be a very long and difficult and challenging process, given the complexity of the crisis after 12 years of conflict, he told CNN.
A spokesman for the Arab League said on Thursday that Arab ministers would meet in Cairo on Sunday to discuss Syria amid the regional push to normalize ties with President Bashar Assad.
Several Arab states including Saudi Arabia and Egypt have recently reengaged with Syria through high-level visits and meetings.
At a meeting in Amman on Monday, Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met for the first time with Arab ministers as part of a Jordanian initiative to get Damascus to negotiate a peace plan.
It says a road map for ending the conflict would include addressing the issues of refugees, missing detainees, drug smuggling and Iranian militias in Syria.
Safadi said Syria’s readiness to make real progress in resolving the conflict would help it win the crucial Arab support to lobby for an eventual end of Western sanctions that are a major impediment to launching a major reconstruction effort. — Agencies