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Arab League to Readmit Syria, Preparation Procedures Underway - Source

© East News / Ahmed GomaaAn emergency meeting is held by foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 15, 2015
An emergency meeting is held by foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
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CAIRO (Sputnik) - The Arab League is preparing a resolution that will readmit Syria to the regional bloc and could begin discussions as early as this month, a diplomatic source from an Arab member state told Sputnik.

"The Arab League is working on a draft resolution to restore Syria’s membership. It might be put up for debate at the Economic and Social Summit in Beirut," the source said.

A general view shows a damaged classroom at a school after it was hit in an air strike in the village of Hass, in the south of Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on October 26, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Beirut will host the summit January 19-20. Lebanon's foreign minister has reportedly been lobbying member states to re-invite Syria after its membership was suspended, but a final decision has been put off until the next meeting in Tunisia.

Lebanon, however, cannot unilaterally ask Syria to attend the meeting in its capital in late January, as invitations are sent on behalf of the 22-nation organization.

Syria’s membership of the League was suspended in 2011, in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Saudi Arabia, reportedly seen as Syria’s rival in the group, said last week it did not mind the return of Damascus, following the UAE’s reopening of its embassy in the capital city after a six-year break.

READ MORE: Syria Begins Reconstruction of UNESCO World Heritage Castle Near Homs

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Arab League members are reportedly rebuilding diplomatic relations with Syria. In December 2018, Sudanese President Omar Bashir visited Syria, the first Arab League country leader to to do so in eight years.

Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations. When civil war erupted in the Middle Eastern country, over 30 countries closed their embassies or relocated their diplomatic staff to Beirut.

READ MORE: Moscow, Damascus Discuss Restoration of Syria's Energy Sector — Russian Minister

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