Syrian opposition working to stop Assad regime's return to Arab League amid normalisation push
The Syrian opposition has sent a delegation to the Arab League on Sunday to urge the organisation not to allow President Bashar Al-Assad's regime to return to the body amid a push for normalisation from some member states.
The Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces said its delegation, headed by coalition leader Salem al-Maslat, will hold meetings for three days in Cairo with Arab League head Ahmed Aboul Gheit, The New Arab's Arabic-language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.
"We look forward to an effective Arab role in Syria, and for the Arab League to abide by its responsibility towards the Syrian people," Maslat said before departing for Cairo.
Earlier this year, the Arab League postponed its summit, due to be held in Algeria in March, over disagreements on a number of issues, including the Syrian regime's membership.
Algeria and Egypt are pushing for Syria's membership of the body to be unfrozen, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia have opposed it.
Syria's membership was frozen at the Arab League's 2013 summit in Doha, however the body did not move to grant representation to the Syrian opposition.
The UAE, Oman, and Jordan have been some of the countries normalising relations with the Assad regime since then despite its responsibility for the bulk of the 500,000 killed in Syria's war.
Ahmed Ramadan, head of strategic consultancy in the opposition Syrian National Coalition, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the delegation in Cairo is seeking to revive its relationship with the body and assert itself as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
Ramadan said that the group "holds specific demands, foremost of which is enabling the coalition and the opposition to receive Syria's seat in the Arab League and joint Arab institutions".
However, senior opposition figures have expressed doubt over the coalition's ability to exert influence on the Arab League.
Former chief negotiator of the Syrian opposition, Muhammad Sabra, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the coalition "does not have any tools to influence the attempts of Arab countries to restore order to the Arab League".
"The coalition is unable to influence the cities of northern Syria (which are under the control of the opposition factions), so how can it imagine its ability to influence the Arab League?" he added.
According to Sabra, Syria's return to the Arab League is dependent on "what is happening between Washington and some Arab countries".
He noted that the US is still opposed to the Assad regime being readmitted to the body.