Egypt blames EU for canceling meeting with Arab League over Syria’s readmission

Cairo has lashed out at the latest move by the European Union (EU) to cancel next week’s ministerial meeting with the Arab League over Syria’s readmission to the pan-Arab body. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has denounced the decision as regrettable.

Speaking at a press briefing with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday, Shoukry urged the EU to respect the decision made by the bloc.

“The League’s decision had to be appreciated by the European Union, but canceling its meeting with the Arab League, which had not been held for four years, was a regrettable decision,” Shoukry said.

Shoukry’s remarks came following Borrell’s joint press conference with Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Sunday, where he announced that the EU and the Arab League ministerial meeting will be postponed due to Syria’s return to the pan-Arab body.

While Borrell stated the EU “fully respects” the Arab League’s “sovereign decision,” he claimed that Syria was readmitted to the Arab League despite the fact that it made no “meaningful efforts towards solving the conflict.”

“The position of the European Union will not change unless Damascus achieves progress in implementing United Nations resolutions, especially Security Council Resolution 2554,” he added.

Shoukry said that the decision to readmit Syria to the pan-Arab body was taken in order to support the Syrian people. “We must look forward to restoring stability to Syria.”

In mid-June, the European Union also chose to exclude representatives from the Damascus government from the seventh Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region.”

Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement that organizers of the event only invited corrupt individuals affiliated with Daesh, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and other Takfiri terrorist outfits.

The ministry added that the guests oppose the Syrian nation’s desires and primary interests, obstruct attempts aimed at repatriation of Syrian refugees to their homeland and impede efforts aimed at the transfer of humanitarian supplies to liberated areas and/or quake-devastated districts.

In early May, Arab League ended its suspension of Syria’s membership in the 22-member pan-Arab body.

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