Qatar closed its embassy in Syria in 2011 and was the first to establish an embassy for the Syrian opposition in its capital Doha.
Regional foreign ministers will meet in Jeddah on Friday to discuss their stance on the return of the Bashar Al Assad regime to the Arab League ahead of next month’s summit.
Speaking at a weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Majed Al Ansari, Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said that the FM’s will represent the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
The Qatari official said the meeting will be held per an invitation by Saudi Arabia, which is hosting the upcoming Arab League summit on 19 May.
The foreign ministers are discussing their positions towards Syria’s return to the regional bloc after more than a decade, Al Araby Al Jadeed reported.
However, the Qatari official reiterated Doha’s unwavering stance against the Assad regime, noting that “the reasons for freezing Syria’s membership in the Arab League still exist.”
Dr. Al Ansari added that it remains too soon to discuss the meeting’s potential outcomes, saying the possibility of whether Syria will make its return is on the table for discussions.
“The position on Syria is mainly linked to achieving Arab consensus, and field change on the ground that achieves the aspirations of the Syrian people,” the Qatari diplomat said, as quoted by Al Araby Al Jadeed.
The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in 2011 amid violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests by the Assad regime.
Reports pointing to a possible resumption of ties between Saudi Arabia and the Syrian regime emerged after reconciliation between Riyadh and Tehran last month, which came to fruition following mediation by China.
Last week, sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is planning to invite Assad to next month’s regional summit and pointed to a reported trip by Riyadh’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to Damascus “in coming weeks”.
While Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry has yet to confirm such an agreement, it said talks were taking place over the resumption of consular services.
Sources had also told Reuters that Riyadh and Damascus reached an agreement to open their embassies after the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
There has been a major shift in positions vis-a-vis Assad across the region since last year, with United Arab Emirates and Jordan taking the first steps towards reconciliation.
In the lead-up to the previous Arab League Summit, Algeria had attempted to reinstate Assad into the 22-member bloc, though its efforts appeared to be blocked by the collective stance of regional countries, namely, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
However, more communication between Egypt and the Syrian regime have appeared since, especially following the 6 February earthquakes that rocked Syria and Turkey.
Earlier this month, Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Al-Mekdad travelled to Egypt in the first such high-level visit by a Syrian diplomat to Cairo.
An Egyptian security source told Reuters the regime official’s visit dealt with plans for Syria’s return to the Arab League with Egyptian and Saudi mediation.
Meanwhile, Qatar has repeatedly ruled out all chances of joining a regional wave of normalisation with the Assad regime, describing such a move as “a betrayal” to the victims of the crisis.
Qatar has on multiple occasions renewed its stance in supporting investigations into crimes committed against Syrians by the Assad regime since the 2011 revolution.