Arab League supports creation of de-escalation zones in Syria – Secretary General

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

The Arab League supports the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria, but believes that their establishment should not lead to “fragmentation” of the country, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit told reporters after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

“Yes, easily we can support them, but an important thing is that they do not lead to disintegration or fragmentation of Syria,” Gheit said when asked whether he supported de-escalation zones.

Gheit noted that the issue of Syria’s reinstatement at the Arab League was not raised at the meeting with Lavrov.

“I think that there might be a consensus among the Arab states. And it has not been reached so far. There are different views, but the issue was not raised at the negotiations,” Gheit added.

Founded in 1945, the Arab League is a regional organization currently consists of 21 Arab member states. Syria’s membership of the organization was suspended in 2011 following an uprising in the country.

Lavrov alongside with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu are on a visit to Egypt to meet with the country’s top officials, including their counterparts, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry and Defense Minister Sedky Sobhy. The ministers are also scheduled to meet President Abdel Fattah Sisi.