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Arab leaders offer Syria billions in aid and sanctions relief if Assad repels Iran

Arab leaders offer Syria billions in aid and sanctions relief if Assad repels Iran

Arab leaders offer Syria billions in aid and sanctions relief if Assad repels Iran

Via Canarias,

Arab leaders are offering Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a deal that includes billions of dollars for reconstruction efforts and a commitment to pressure the West to lift sanctions in return “[asking] Iran stops expanding its footprint in the nation.” according to Arab and European officials who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.

Other conditions set by the leaders of the unnamed Arab nations include a pledge by Damascus to engage with opposition and rebel groups, accept Arab troops to “protect returning refugees” and crack down on the captagon drug trade.

Image: SANA via AP

The secret talks gained momentum after devastating earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria last month, killing 6,000 in the Levantine nation alone.

However, a Syrian government adviser told the WSJ that Assad “has shown no interest in political reform or willingness to host Arab troops.” Western powers have also made little effort to lift crushing sanctions or stop politicizing humanitarian aid deliveries.

Last month, US State Department spokesman Ned Price urged the international community not to allow humanitarian assistance in Syria to be accompanied by normalization, stressing: “[Washington’s] The position on the Assad regime has not changed.”

Talks between Damascus and Arab leaders are backed by Saudi Arabia, which recently agreed to restore ties with Iran in a deal brokered by China. In recent weeks, Saudi officials have called for an end to Syria’s isolation to allow a response to its dire humanitarian crisis.

“There is a consensus in the Arab world that the status quo is not sustainable. And that means we have to find a way to go beyond this status quo,” said Saudi Foreign Minister, the Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud earlier this month.

European and Arab officials also confirmed this to the WSJ Syria’s regional reintegration to be high on agenda of upcoming Arab League summit, which will be held later this year in Saudi Arabia. In recent weeks, Jordan and Egypt sent their foreign ministers to Damascus for their first diplomatic visits since the war broke out in 2011.

Cairo, in particular, is spearheading a reconciliation plan that proposes restoring relations between Syria and Arab states to pre-2011 levels, returning Syria to the League of Arab States and negotiating the deployment of joint “Arab forces” on the border Syrian-Iraqi, according to exclusive information made available to The Cradle.

Dana Stroul, who spoke as co-chair of the Syria Study Group in 2019, acknowledged that the United States voted to keep its troops in Syria to secure “resource-rich” areas and to achieve an outcome that “advances and protects” American interests. .

— In context (@incontextmedia) March 12, 2023

Other Arab nations responsible for fueling the war in its early stages, such as Tunisia, have announced plans to restore diplomatic relations.

Even before the earthquake, Arab nations had slowly begun to rebuild ties with Syria after more than a decade of war and isolation, citing the failure of the US-sponsored war and concerns over the growing presence of They will go to the country.

Despite these concerns, Iran has welcomed progress between Syria and the Arab world. This was said by the spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Kanaani “A realistic approach” and “a positive step towards Islamic solidarity”.

Damascus has repeatedly denied “inaccurate reports about Iranian military forces in Syria” and asserts that “the number of Iranian advisers in Syria does not exceed 100”.

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