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Arab League readies Syria to normalize relations with Assad | Syria

The Arab League has decided to readmit Syria after a hiatus of more than a decade, underpinning a regional push to normalize relations with President Bashar al-Assad, a spokesman for the Arab League said.

Gamal Roshdi, spokesman for the Arab League secretary-general, said the decision was taken at a closed-door meeting of Arab foreign ministers at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

Membership in the Arab League was suspended in 2011 after Syria’s bloody crackdown on street protests against Assad led to a devastating civil war and many Arab countries pulled their envoys out of Damascus in 2011.

Several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have recently re-engaged in high-level visits and talks with Syria, although some, including Qatar, remain opposed to full normalization without a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

Arab states have been trying to reach a consensus on whether to invite Assad to the Arab League summit in Riyadh on May 19 to discuss the pace of normalization of relations and the conditions for allowing Syria’s return.

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