Arab countries have gathered in Jeddah to discuss Syria’s return to the fold after years of animosity with Damascus which fought and won a ferocious war imposed on the country.
Ministers and top officials from the six Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — plus Egypt, Iraq and Jordan were meeting at Saudi Arabia’s request.
Up for discussion in the Red Sea city is Syria’s suspension from the Arab League, imposed when the country was plagued by a war in 2011 as terrorists and militant groups trickled in from around the world. As the foreign-backed war began, many Arab countries cut relations with Syria.
In 2015, Syrian activists said that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey supported both al-Nusra Front, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Daesh terrorist group in Syria by giving them money or allowing Wahhabi mosques to collect money for them.
Around the same time, former US Senate candidate Mark Dankof said the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia had been involved in creating Daesh to overthrow the Syrian government.
Saudi media outlets said the nine-nation talks come after Syria’s foreign minister visited in Jeddah on an unannounced trip on Wednesday, the first since the outbreak of the war.
Faisal Mekdad and his Saudi counterpart discussed “the necessary steps” to return Damascus to the Arab League, according to a Saudi statement on Wednesday.