Syria News: Arab League Passes Resolution In Support of International Action

The Arab League, the regional organization representing 22 member states from the Arab world, issued a resolution on Sunday officially endorsing international action in Syria. 

The regional organization famously backed the creation of a no-fly zone in Libya, a decision many saw as a regional green-light that helped support international intervention in Libya's crisis. 

The League officially suspended Syria's membership in November of 2011 as a result of government repression in the country's ongoing civil war. But only recently has the regional group officially denounced Assad's hand in what they termed an "ugly crime" of chemical weapons use against the Syrian people. 

In previous statement, the League recognized the Assad regime's crimes, but failed to comment on the looming threat of international response. The organization's more recent resolution took a step further, and called for the United Nations and “the international community” to exercise responsibilities under international law “to take the necessary measures” against the Syrian government. 

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf partners have notably stood in support of the U.S. and international action against the Syrian regime throughout Syria's crisis, likely a result of an ongoing Saudi rivalry with the pro-Assad regional powerhouse, Iran, for influence in the region.

"Any opposition to any international action would only encourage Damascus to move forward with committing its crimes and using all weapons of mass destruction," stated Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal during the Arab League meeting this weekend.

Egypt, on the other hand, has been largely critical of international action in Syria.  During Arab League meetings, the Egyptian delegation was hesitant to support international action. However, likely due to Egypt's ties to Western and Gulf aid, the country eventually signed onto Sunday's resolution.

The resolution provides notable regional support for international action from countries that are generally critical of Western intervention in Arab affairs. But, with vague language reflecting internal divisions, the Arab League's resolution falls short of specifically condoning U.S. military action.

Read More:

The Arab League Must Intervene Against Bashar al-Assad in Syria (Policymic)

The Arab League's Hypocritical Suspension of Syria (Policymic)

Arab League Stance Muddies U.S. Case (New York Times)

Arab League Urges UN-Backed Action in Syria (Al Jazeera)


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Rachel George

Rachel is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the London School of Economics. She holds a BA in Politics from Princeton and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard. Her interests include journalism, U.S. foreign policy, human rights, and international law.

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