Algeria has urged Syria’s return to the Arab League, and asked Persian Gulf Arab states involved in a diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Qatar to work towards mending their ties.
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel made the remarks to Russia Today Arabic, which the network published on Sunday.
He pointed to his country’s relations with Damascus, urging restoration of Syria’s membership in the regional grouping.
The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, citing alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests. Syria has denounced the move as “illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”
Persian Gulf crisis: Messahel laid emphasis on the need for resolution of all differences in the region, including the diplomatic crisis involving Qatar on one side, and a Saudi-led bloc on the other.
The widening rift in the region erupted on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt severed ties with Qatar.
They then imposed a blockade on the emirate, and presented it with a 13-point list of steep demands before they would restore the ties. The demands include Qatar limiting its ties with Iran, and closing down a Turkish military base, which Doha has rejected as intervention in its affairs.
The Algerian top diplomat said his country had good relations with all the parties involved in the diplomatic crisis, and asked that the impasse be overcome using the mechanisms provided by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Defending Iran ties: The Algerian foreign minister, meanwhile, asserted that his country’s ties with the Islamic Republic do not conflict with its relations with Arab countries.
Saudi Arabia cut its ties with Iran in January last year after angry protests in front of its Iran-based diplomatic missions against its earlier execution of a leading Shia cleric. Bahrain followed suit, and the UAE downgraded its Iran relations.
The three countries have, ever since, had on numerous occasions accused the Islamic Republic of meddling in the region. Most recently, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (seen below) addressed the United Nations General Assembly, alleging that Iran’s “hostile and expansionist policy” was the major obstacle to solving all crises in the Arab world. Tehran has roundly rejected the claims and invited the countries to dialog towards defusing differences.—Agencies