'Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco and Yemen' resisting Saudi attempts to reinstate Syria to Arab League
Qatar, Morocco, Kuwait, and the internationally recognised Yemeni government were named by a source as opposing further normalisation between the Arab bloc and the Syrian regime, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Syria was suspended from the Arab League in November 2011 following the massacre of protesters and the Assad regime's repeated rebuffing of the bloc's peace initiatives.
Sources told the WSJ that the states currently opposed to Syria's reinstatement as a member of the league "doubled down on their demands, including calls that Damascus accept Arab troops to protect returning refugees, crack down on illicit drug smuggling, and ask Iran to stop expanding its footprint in the nation".
Syria, however, has given no indication that it will cede to the demands, the report said.
The New Arab reached out to the embassies of Morocco, Qatar, and Kuwait for comment.
Having weathered more than a decade of war - with the backing from Russia and Iran - the Assad regime has brutally clawed back control over many areas of Syria.
Bashar Al-Assad's survival is now seen as guaranteed with several Arab states making moves to rehabilitate his regime.
The WSJ reported in March that several Arab states offered Assad a deal including a multi-billion dollar reconstruction package and a pledge to lobby for sanctions relief in exchange for limiting ties with Tehran.
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia hosted delegations from both Syria and Iran as Gulf states prepare to re-establish ties with the two countries.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met with his Saudi counterpart and discussed "the necessary steps to achieve a complete political settlement to the Syrian crisis", the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.
The aim is to achieve "a national reconciliation and bring back Syria to its Arab fold and resume its natural role in the Arab world", the statement said.
Saudi Arabia is set to host the foreign ministers of Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait on Friday to discuss Syria's readmission to the Arab League.
The meet comes weeks ahead of an Arab League summit due to take place in Riyadh on 19 May.
Last month, Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit told reporters there is "currently no Arab consensus" on readmitting Syria.