MOSCOW, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Syria's return to the Arab League is long overdue and would be a significant step forward in ending the crisis in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.
"The return of Syria to the 'Arab family' is called upon to be an integral part of the final settlement of the Syrian crisis," Lavrov said during an interview with Armenian news agency Mediamax, according to the press service of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"It is about restoring Syrian membership in the League of Arab States. This issue, in our opinion, has long been overdue," he said.
The top Russian diplomat also said that significant progress has been made toward a political settlement to the Syrian conflict.
Syria's membership in the AL was suspended in November 2011 after the outbreak of armed conflict in the country. A number of Arab countries recalled their ambassadors from Damascus.
The Syrian leadership slammed the move, considering it illegal.