Arab League foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Sudan and the possible readmission of Syria into the regional bloc, according to an official source. The meeting comes ahead of an Arab summit scheduled for May 19 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where Syria’s membership is expected to be on the agenda.
Sudan has been gripped by violence since April 15, when clashes erupted between the army and a paramilitary group that had jointly seized power in a coup two years ago. The fighting has killed more than 550 people and wounded nearly 5,000, according to Sudanese authorities. The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe and urged the warring parties to guarantee safe passage for aid convoys.
Syria, meanwhile, has seen a thaw in its relations with some Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after more than a decade of isolation due to its brutal civil war. Syria’s foreign minister visited Cairo and Riyadh in April, the first such visits since Syria’s membership in the 22-member Arab League was suspended in 2011 over its crackdown on anti-government protests.
Jordan’s foreign minister said on Monday that he believes there are enough votes among Arab League members for Syria to return to the organization.
The meeting in Cairo on Sunday will also address the recent events in Israel and the Palestinian territories, where tensions have escalated over Israeli plans to evict Palestinian families from East Jerusalem and violent clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. The Arab League has condemned Israel’s actions and called for international intervention to protect the rights of the Palestinians