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Iraq backs Syria’s return to Arab League: Foreign minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Arab foreign ministers take part in the 153rd annual session at the Arab League headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on March 4, 2020. (File photo by AFP)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein has told his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad that Baghdad supports Damascus’s return to the Arab League.

Hussein, who met Mekdad on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, reiterated Iraq’s firm position on Syria’s return to the pan-Arab organization, Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Hussein had previously called for Syria’s membership in the Arab League to be restored. He made the call during a meeting with the secretary general of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, Nayef bin Falah al-Hajraf, and his accompanying delegation in Baghdad in February.

According to the Sunday statement, Hussein and Mekdad also discussed ways to strengthen mutual cooperation between Damascus and Baghdad in order to restore stability and security to the two countries and the entire region.

For his part, Mekdad appreciated Iraq’s support for a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis and expressed his country’s keenness to expand ties with Baghdad to achieve stability and peace.

The two ministers also discussed ways to fight terrorism.

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 July, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra 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.

As the Syrian government forces continue to score territorial gains in battles against foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists, some Arab countries, including Bahrain and the UAE, also decided to resume operations in their embassies in Syria.

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