Saudi Push to Bring Syria Back Into Arab League Faces Some Resistance

Qatar reiterated that it doesn't want to normalize with Damascus

Saudi Arabia’s push to bring Syria back into the Arab League is facing resistance from a few countries, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The report named Qatar, Morocco, and Kuwait as opposing normalization between Syria and the Arab League, which suspended Damascus in 2011. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani publicly expressed opposition to the idea on Thursday.

“There were reasons for the suspension of Syria from the Arab League and the boycott of the Syrian regime in that time and these reasons still exist,” he said. “(Qatar’s) individual decision is not to take any step if there is no political development or solution to the crisis.”

According to the Journal, the Arab states that oppose the normalization are making demands of Damascus, including “calls that Damascus accept Arab troops to protect returning refugees, crack down on illicit drug smuggling, and ask Iran to stop expanding its footprint in the nation.”

But overall, regional countries are accepting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad isn’t going anywhere and are upgrading ties with his government. Despite the opposition from a few Arab states, the Saudis seem determined to move ahead as they hosted Syria’s foreign minister on Wednesday for the first time since 2011.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.