Arab League chief: No consensus yet for Syria return

Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019

Arab League chief: No consensus yet for Syria return

  • The Arab League is due to hold a summit meeting at the end of March in Tunisia

BEIRUT: The Arab League said on Monday there was no consensus yet among member states that may allow the reinstatement of Syria’s membership which was suspended in 2011 over its crackdown on protesters at the start of the civil war.

In a big diplomatic boost for Assad, the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus in December, saying it aimed to normalize ties and curb risks of regional interference in “Arab, Syrian affairs” — an apparent reference to Iran and Turkey.

But Arab League Secretary-General and former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, speaking during a visit to Beirut, said there was no consensus yet on Syria being allowed back into the League.

“I follow this subject very closely and I do not yet observe conclusions that lead to the consensus that we are talking about and that may lead to an (Arab) foreign ministers meeting in which they announce the end of the difference and therefore call for Syria to return to occupy the seat,” he said.

The Arab League is due to hold a summit meeting at the end of March in Tunisia.

Asked about the prospects for Syria’s readmission, Aboul Gheit noted that Arab League foreign ministers were due to hold two meetings before the summit.

“But the matter is not time, the matter is will. The matter is consensus among the states,” he said.

“For Syria to return, there must be consensus.”

Kuwait cabinet consider full coronavirus curfew

Updated 8 min 49 sec ago

Kuwait cabinet consider full coronavirus curfew

DUBAI: The Kuwait government has said it is considering imposing a full curfew in the country, as well as increasing medical employees and halving passes issued to workers across various sectors that allow their movement during the curfew, state news agency KUNA reported.
The cabinet discussed preventive measures and current conditions in the Mahboula and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh areas in the country, which are under complete lockdown.
The authorities have been ordered to create an executive plan to deal with the possibility of imposing a curfew, government spokesman Tareq Al-Mezrem said in an online news conference.
A program of repatriating people is due to start at the end of the week for those who register on a special website.
Al-Mezrem said the cabinet had ordered cleaning and security companies, contracted to the government, to pay workers and ensure they have good living conditions.
“The government will take legal action against companies violating this issue,” he said.
The country has also approved a request from the Ministry of Commerce to activate an electronic app for people to shop at cooperative societies, Al-Mezrem added.
The state, meanwhile, ordered the Directorate General for Civil Aviation to enable airline operation in order for expats to return back to their countries.