Syria's return to Arab League depends on political progress: Egypt's FM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-09 00:09:59|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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CAIRO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday that the Syrian government needs to take a number of measures toward a political settlement for the Syrian crisis, which are necessary for Damascus to resume its suspended membership of the Cairo-based Arab League (AL).

Shoukry made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in Cairo, where they discussed bilateral ties as well as several regional issues of mutual concern.

He said the Syrian political measures are required "in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254," which was adopted in late 2015, endorsing a roadmap for a peace process in Syria side by side with a nationwide cease-fire.

"There's a need to get out of the current crisis in Syria through the political framework sponsored by the UN envoy in Geneva," the Egyptian foreign minister told reporters, noting that the Syrian government has not made any progress in this regard so far.

Some reports spoke recently of Syria's possible participation in the upcoming Arab Economic and Social Development Summit that will be held in Beirut later this month, which was not confirmed by Shoukry.

"This requires a decision to be made at the level of the AL council and to be approved by the summit. But for the time being, there's no change," he said.

Syria has for years been suffering from a civil war that has created chaos and instability because of the confrontation between pro-government forces and armed rebels and terrorists from the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are backed by Russia, Iran and Shiite militias loyal to Iran including Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Since its eruption in March 2011, the Syrian crisis has killed half a million people, and wounded or displaced more than 14 million others.

Shoukry and Bourita discussed several other regional issues, particularly the Palestinian issue as well as the current developments in chaos-stricken Yemen and Libya.

Shoukry accused Turkey and Qatar of supporting extremist militants in Libya, saying it undermines settlement efforts in Libya and poses a threat to the security of neighboring states.

For his part, Bourita praised Egypt's economic and security progress over the past few years, stressing Morocco's support for Egypt's security and stability.

"Morocco supports all the measures taken by Egypt to protect its security and safeguard its citizens," said the Moroccan top diplomat.