WAM ABU DHABI: The Arab League is often condemned as an ineffectual talking shop. If real progress on Syria comes out of Doha, it will have proved itself still a relevant force in Arab affairs, according to a local paper.
“Yesterday, Arab leaders discussed a range of key regional issues at the 24th Arab Summit, from the bloodshed in Syria to reforming the Arab League. What distinguished the summit from previous ones was that this was Arab political elites discussing the basic popular demands of the Arab peoples,” Abu-Dhabi-based The National said in an editorial comment.
In the summit, it was clear that some agreement on general principles had been reached, it remarked adding that it remains to be seen whether any meaningful resolutions or programmes will emerge out of the meetings.
“But the tone of the summit is right, reflecting the urgency of addressing the popular demands of Arab societies for change and progress,” the English language paper remarked.
The paper said return of Moaz Al Khatib, President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, after announcing his resignation from the coalition on Sunday, and Qatar’s statements about accepting a political solution to the Syrian crisis, should signal progress towards common strategies by these countries.
Handing Syria’s seat at the Arab League to the Coalition was a blow to the Assad regime in Damascus and a symbolic victory for the opposition, according to the paper. Over the last few weeks, it noted, disagreements among regional and international powers over issues involving the Syrian opposition have led to frictions within the opposition.