Bashar al-Assad's presence without speaking at the Manama Summit "Connotations and Meanings"

آدمن الموقع
D. Hussein Aldek
Special/Geostrategic Network of Studies
The Syrian State has been a prominent presence in Arab summits since the establishment of the League of Arab States in 1945. This presence was reflected in the Syrian State's historical positions in favour of Arab issues, the most important of which is the Algerian and Palestinian issues. and Syria's embrace of a number of PLO factions, especially leftist ones, Egyptian-Syrian political harmony has been the influential balance of power in the League of Arab States for decades since the establishment of the League of Arab States in addition to Saudi-Syrian political harmony in establishing political equations between Lebanese groups, The Syrian State has had a strong presence in Lebanon's political landscape since the 1980s. The Syrian military presence in Lebanon has long been a powerful and influential factor in shaping Lebanon's political landscape for many years, But regional and international changes have played a prominent role in influencing Syria's traditional Arab and regional presence Lebanon ", which appeared to be a decline since 2005, culminating in the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon under pressure from the international community and the Lebanese street following the assassination of former Lebanese President Rafik Hariri on 14 February 2005 in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
Since the start of peaceful and mass protests in the Arab world, which began from Tunisia and moving to a number of Arab States, Syria was not immune from these peaceful protests and demonstrations, which demanded more civil and political freedoms and economic and social rights as well as other mass movements in Arab States. But what was remarkable in the Syrian scene was the handling of those demonstrations by rough force and repressed by excessive force and arrests of children, elders, young people and political opponents, As this approach continues to deal with the demonstrations, after a period of peaceful demonstrations and the use of all kinds of weapons to eliminate them, it has been militarized and engaged in armed confrontations between the demonstrators and the Syrian regime.

Suspension of Syria's membership in the League of Arab States

The Arab position was to suspend Syria's membership in the Arab League, according to the BBC. After four months of Arab League moves and mediation to find a solution to the Syrian crisis, and after the League of Arab States was convinced that the regime was refusing to reach any understandings to stop the excessive use of force against demonstrators, Arab foreign ministers decided during a meeting in Cairo on 12/11/2011 to suspend Syria's membership in the League of Arab States by endorsing 18 The State and the opposition of three States (Lebanon, Syria and Yemen), and Iraq's abstention, so that Syria can implement the Arab initiative. They imposed political and economic sanctions on Syria and called on the Syrian army to cease the use of force against demonstrators. They called on Arab States to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria.
The decision to suspend Syria's membership in November 2011 followed the Syrian regime's refusal to halt violent crackdowns on Syrian protesters, which began in March 2011. s membership in the League of Arab States, The United States of America and the European Union welcomed this decision as a step in the right direction and in February 2012 withdrew the GCC countries. Bahrain Kuwait Oman Saudi Arabia UAE Qatar has closed its embassies. In addition, the League of Arab States allowed the Syrian opposition to take Syria's seat at the 2013 Arab League Summit in Doha.

Syria's return to the Arab League

Saudi state news agency WASS reported that Syria's return to the League of Arab States followed many consultations among Member States as Arab Foreign Ministers decided on 7/5/2023 at an extraordinary meeting in Cairo to return Syria to the League of Arab States after being suspended for a period of time. 12 This culminated in Assad's participation in the 32nd Summit in Jeddah on 19/5/2023, where Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Jeddah Nature participated in the Arab Summit at the time, based on Assad's pledges to advance the implementation of the programme of reforms in accordance with the Arab Initiative step by step.
But the participation in the Bahrain Summit was silent and without any word or speech in accordance with the Protocol recognized at the Arab summits for all attendees, whether from Member States or guests The failure to grant Assad a speech at the Arab summit was an indication of the weakness of Syria's position in the Arab Ocean and the dissatisfaction with the steps taken by the Syrian Government two years later in restoring its membership to the League of Arab States.
According to the US website Al-Hilal Net, there are a number of reasons that led to this attitude from the Arab League against Assad, the most important of which is the failure of Assad to implement any of the items of the known Arab initiative (Step-by-step), which was considered the key point of Syria's return to the Arab League if that initiative included important issues None of them have been achieved, especially the political path of change in Syria, with the participation of all Syrian groups, and the cessation of the targeting of civilians and the ongoing shelling against them. In addition to the continued threat posed by the Syrian regime to neighbouring States, the threat to their safety and national security through drug and arms smuggling gangs from Syrian territory and their transfer to neighbouring States, the threat to their regional stability and the Syrian regime's facilitation of those groups. s presence in Syria. One of the most important demands for accepting Syria's return to the Arab League was to remove Iranian organizations from Syrian territory.

According to a report by the Washington Institute for Middle East Politics, (step for step) the Syrian regime must end the ongoing crisis based on UN Security Council Resolution No. (2254) Preserving the identity of the Syrian State, providing all the necessary resources and creating conditions for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees to their homes The Arab Ministerial Committee for Liaison on Syria was established by the League of Arab States to follow up on these important issues. Meeting in August 2023, but no progress has been made in those cases by the Syrian regime; In response, there was a slight Arab attitude towards Assad, especially by Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. and the meeting was scheduled for March 2024 but was cancelled due to the Syrian regime's failure to provide any responses or answers to the queries and claims submitted by the Commission at the last meeting in August 2023, on the political path, the return of refugees, the exit of Iranian organizations and the curbing of cross-border smuggling gangs.
The Syrian newspaper Al-Watan stated that Assad's participation in the 33rd Arab Summit in Manama would be silent and without a speech, but would focus on the topics of consultations with Arab leaders on Arab issues on the agenda, the most important of which was Arab relations and the question of Palestine, as well as on issues related to the Syrian file that were being pursued by the Arab Ministerial Committee terial Committee terial Committee.
Based on this silent presence at Arab Summit No. (33) In Manama, according to the American Al-Tahrir Channel, Arab dealings with Assad have failed in the so-called rehabilitation of the regime. Many Arab parties, especially Jordan and the Gulf States, are deeply concerned by the Syrian regime's position, particularly in not fighting drug and weapon smugglers, not providing conditions for the return of refugees and the launching of the Constitutional Commission In addition, disputes have risen between Jordan and the Syrian regime following the smuggling of more weapons across Jordan's borders, Some Arab States remained determined to reject normalization with the Syrian regime, particularly Morocco, Qatar and Kuwait And based on what happened at the Manama summit, there is an Arab conviction that the incentives offered by the Arab League have not succeeded in changing the behaviour of the Syrian regime, Particularly in the core issues of disagreement, namely the exit of Iranian organizations, the cessation of the smuggling of arms and drugs, the launching of a political path leading to the return of Syrian refugees and the new constitutional passage of the country leading to political pluralism, the protection of rights and the participation of all parties in Syria's future political system.

Syrian opposition warnings prove correct

Since the announcement of efforts to re-represent Syria in the League of Arab States at the beginning of 2023, there have been warnings from the Syrian opposition about this move, which the regime may take advantage of its interests and not move towards the political solution that the Syrian people want. In the light of the Syrian regime's continued detention, imprisonment and prosecution of opponents, the rejection of the return of refugees, the continued bombing and destruction and the failure to take any steps that would establish a real and future political path in Syria.
According to CNN, the Syrian opposition's reservations about the re-representation of the regime in the Arab League will give it more legitimacy before the international community, a reward by the Arab League of the Syrian regime for the crimes it has carried out against the Syrian people since 2011 to this day, which continues to be detained more than (100) A Syrian detainee in his prison, stressing that the re-normalization of relations between the Arab States and the Syrian regime is in violation of Security Council resolution 2254.
The silent presence of Assad at the Doha summit clearly reflects a decline in the Arab position on the rehabilitation of the regime and constitutes a kind of credibility for the warnings given by the Syrian opposition that Assad is trying to gain more time and has not provided any new information on the issues that are required of him.


Despite the League of Arab States' tireless efforts to return Syria to the Arab League based on the well-known initiative (Step versus Step), the Arab decision capitals, notably Cairo and Riyadh, appear to be convinced that the Syrian regime is not serious about implementing the arrangements and procedures required in accordance with previous understandings, and that it is trying to buy more time to make future regional and international developments achieve some transformations in favour of the regime and its allies in the Middle East region.
The silent participation in the Bahrain Assad Summit clearly indicates the decline of the Arab position on the so-called rehabilitation of the Syrian regime and its natural representation in the League of Arab States The Arab League is moving towards a new transformation of its relationship with the Syrian regime in the light of the stalled political march in Syria and the continuing threat to the territorial security of neighbouring States, particularly the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, This seriously raises the earlier scenario of the possibility of re-suspending Syria's participation in meetings of the Arab League or not inviting it to attend summits and meetings of joint committees.
In addition, the persistence of international positions on the Syrian regime, notably that of the United States of America and the European Union, casts a shadow over the process of re-containing, rehabilitating and representing the Syrian regime in the Arab League. "Affirming all international reports that the scale of gross violations of human rights and international law remains significant in Syria and that the political trajectory remains elusive, There is an insistence by the Syrian regime not to move to any future political stage based on the relevant international resolutions And that is why Washington and Brussels maintain their positions in boycotting the Syrian regime and promise to normalize with it, but rather to tighten the sanctions imposed on it.

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