Gulf foreign ministers and their counterparts from Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, who met in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah on April 14, said that a political solution is the only way to end the Syrian crisis.
The special meeting was held upon the invitation of Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to discuss Syria’s possible return to the Arab League.
A joint statement that was released a day after the meeting said that the foreign ministers “exchanged viewpoints on the efforts being exerted to reach a political solution for the Syrian crisis in a way that puts an end to all its repercussions and preserves Syria’s territorial unity, security, stability and Arab identity and brings it back to its Arab fold.”
“The ministers underscored the importance of solving the humanitarian crisis and creating the appropriate environment for the access of assistance to all regions of Syria and paving the way for finding the necessary circumstances for the safe return of Syrian refugees and the displaced to their homeland and ending their sufferings and take more measures to ensure stability across the entire Syrian territories,” added the statement, which was shared by the Saudi Press Agency.
The Gulf and Arab foreign ministers also reaffirmed the importance of combating terrorism and drug trafficking, noting that state institutions must perform their role of maintaining Syria’s sovereignty to end the presence of armed militias and ending foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs.
“The ministers underlined that a political solution is the only way to end the Syrian crisis, emphasizing the importance of a vital and leading Arab role in this direction which requires putting in place mechanisms to intensify consultations among Arab countries in a way that guarantees the success of those efforts,” the statement concluded.
Saudi Arabia is hosting the next Arab League summit in May. Syria’s membership in the organization was suspended when the war first broke out more than a decade ago.
The kingdom recently made the decision to restore relations with Damascus, and is currently leading efforts to bring the country back to the Arab fold. Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad arrived in Jeddah earlier this week on a breakthrough visit. The two sides agreed to reopen embassies and resume direct flights.
Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates are some of the other Arab states that have already voiced their support to restore Syria’s seat in the Arab League. Qatar, on the other hand, remains the main opponent of the move.
Syria’s return to the Arab fold could help push forward a political solution for the crisis that recently entered its twelfth year.