ALGIERS (Dispatches) – Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has called for the restoration of Syria’s membership in the Arab League as a founding member of the regional organization, emphasizing that his country strongly supports the reunification of Arab states.
“Algeria will do its utmost effort to unite and strengthen the common Arab will to confront collective challenges,” Lamamra said at a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Saturday.
He also emphasized that “Syria is a founding member of the Arab League and that Algeria is not opposed to its return to the organization and reinstatement of its seat.”
The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, citing an alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests. Syria has denounced the move as “illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”
Syria was one of the six founding members of the Arab League in 1945. In recent months, an increasing number of countries and political parties have called for the reversal of its suspension from the Arab League.
In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hoped for Syria’s return to the Arab League, saying Arab nations would be able to reunify their positions and resolve their differences if Damascus is readmitted to the organization.
Lavrov made the remarks during a press conference with the foreign ministers of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Sudan — members of the Arab Contact Group on Ukraine — in the Russian capital city of Moscow on April 4.
“We expressed our hope for Syria’s return to the Arab League. The issue will be resolved as soon as possible as it will help Arabs unify their positions in the region and the whole world,” the top Russian diplomat said.
Earlier this year, the secretary-general of the central committee of the Palestinian Fatah political party denounced the suspension as “disgraceful” for the entire Arab world, especially as the war-ravaged country is a founding member of the regional organization.
Speaking at a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus on January 10, Jibril Rajoub added that Syria must return to the Arab League.