The Arab League’s decision to readmit Syria to its ranks after more than a decade of suspension has been criticized by the United States, the United Kingdom and Syrian rebels.
Foreign ministers from 13 of the group’s 22 member countries were present at the Cairo meeting where the decision to readmit Syria was made. In it they stressed the need to end the civil war in Syria and the resulting refugee crisis and drug trafficking.
But Syrians living in the rebel-held northern province of Idlib have expressed “shock” by accusing Arab countries of “whitewashing” the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and questioning their fate following the decision.
“For us Syrians living in camps in the north, it has been a great and unfortunate shock. Instead of Arab leaders helping us and taking us out of those camps where we suffer and live in pain, they bleached the criminal and murderous hands“, explains Abdul Salam Yousef, a 49-year-old displaced Syrian.
“We didn’t benefit from the fact that [el régimen] He wasn’t in the Arab League, so what if he’s in it? This means nothing to us because we are displaced and have been forced to leave our cities. They are like him. That’s why they reinstated him. They are all uselesslaments Ashad al-Deek, also displaced by the war.
Syria’s membership in the Arab League was revoked after President Bashar al-Assad ordered a crackdown on protesters in March 2011 that it plunged the country into a civil war that has since killed almost half a million people and displaced another 23 million.
The United States and the United Kingdom are among the Western countries that have recently declared that they will not restore relations with the government of President Assad.