Syria's Arab League seat won't give opposition 'victory'

For months, the Syrian National Council, which spearheads opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has striven to assume Syria's Arab League seat.

Syria's Arab League seat won't give opposition 'victory'

World Bulletin / News Desk

A senior member of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) on Thursday said that Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi had told him that giving Syria's Arab League seat to opposition representatives would not constitute a victory for the Syrian revolution.

Haysam al-Malih, head of the SNC's legal committee, said he replied to al-Arabi – at the league's Thursday meeting at its Cairo headquarters – by saying: "This is a political gesture that will benefit the Syrian revolution."

Al-Malih, however, said that the Arab League chief backed the Syrian revolution and wanted to help it.

"But he is not the decision-maker regarding Syria's seat," al-Malih said. "A decision in this regard will be taken by Arab countries."

Syria's Arab League seat has remained vacant for more than two years.

For months, the SNC, which spearheads opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has striven to assume Syria's Arab League seat.

The fate of Syria's seat was discussed at the 25th Arab summit in Kuwait last month. At the time, the league had said that procedural hindrances prevented it from handing the seat over to the alliance, whose head, Ahmed al-Jarba, delivered a speech at the summit's opening session.

Al-Malih said al-Arabi had promised to consider the SNC's participation in upcoming league committee meetings as an observer.

He called on the Egyptian government to assist Syrian refugees the way the Turkish government was treating them, saying that, in Turkey, Syrian refugees were treated like Turkish citizens.

Al-Malih said some Syrians, including SNC officials, had travelled out of Egypt, but that they could not return to it.

In December, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati said there were 750,000 Syrian refugees in Egypt, including 325,000 who had arrived after the eruption of the Syrian revolution in March 2011.

"These people enjoy the same health and education rights as Egyptians, despite Egypt's tough conditions," Abdel-Ati said.

Having dragged into its fourth year, the civil war in Syria has displaced millions of people and left hundreds of thousands dead and injured. 

Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2014, 09:22
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