GCC welcomes Arab efforts to resolve crisis in Syria
The Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council expresses its rejection of regional interference in Syria's internal affairs.
During its 156th session held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said it "affirmed its firm positions toward preserving the territorial integrity of the sisterly Syrian Arab Republic, respecting its independence and sovereignty over its lands."
In a statement published on its website, the Ministerial Council expressed its rejection of regional interference in Syria's "internal affairs, and supporting a political solution to the Syrian crisis in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions."
Touching on the ongoing refugee crisis, the statement expressed its support for "the efforts of the Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen in this regard, and backing for the endeavors exerted to provide care for Syrian refugees and displaced persons and work to ensure their safe return to their cities and villages, in accordance with international standards."
The Ministerial Council underlined the importance of "continuing and supporting all efforts aimed at helping Syria overcome its crisis, and the need to take practical and effective steps to gradually resolve the Syrian crisis."
Regarding Syria's readmission to the Arab League in May, the statement welcomed the bloc’s decision to "allow the Syrian government delegations to attend the meetings of the League’s Council and its affiliated organizations and agencies."
It also welcomed the Arab efforts to "resolve the crisis in Syria in a step-by-step manner as agreed upon during the Amman Consultative Meeting of the Arab Ministerial Contact Group on Syria on May 1, 2023."
Elsewhere, the Ministerial Council of the GCC stressed the importance of "continuing all efforts to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Syrian people, and welcomed the call of the Secretary General of the United Nations to renew the mandate of the Security Council to extend the mechanism for the delivery of humanitarian aid across borders for a period of 12 months."
US wants to further sanction Syria amid reconciliation efforts
A couple of days ago, it was reported that US legislators are mulling tightening sanctions against Syria in a bid to undermine the efforts it has so far made as part of the reconciliation process underway with numerous Arab states, which most recently culminated in the country returning to the Arab League after more than a decade of being outside of it.
Lawmakers claim that the sanctions are aimed at Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and numerous other officials in a bid to impede the reconciliation efforts. However, experts are saying the bid being pushed for would hurt the Syrian people instead of the government, as others underlined that it would impede Syria's reconstruction efforts.
US Representative Joe Wilson introduced the bill, known as the Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023, backed by 35 others, which expands on the Caesar Act introduced in 2020 to impose harsh sanctions against Syria.
The bill would make it so that Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are punished for investing in Syria after their rapprochement with the country.