Arab League and heavy sanctions on Syria/ Ardeshir Pashang

In Sunday’s meeting 19 countries out of the 22 present countries approved the draft, but as Iraqi foreign minister Hushyar Zibari had formerly announced, his country which has got a long border with Syria, did not affirm the sanctions.

Arab league sanctions

 “Sheikh Hamad Ben jasem ale Sani” who is Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister presided over the gathering.

Based on the decisions made in the meeting, all the members were forced not to give visa or permission to Syrian high ranking officials; lock the country’s properties in their own country; stop cooperating with Central Bank of Syria; avoid from any kind of investment in Syria and suspend all relations with this country. “The sanctions are economic by now and if Syria doesn’t do based on their humanistic mission, will stop this situation in Syria.”

The league’s previous behavior

This is the first time that Arab league exerts such sanctions on one of its members.

These sanctions come at the time the league has never made such a decision in reaction to uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.

It’s worthy to be noted that after uprisings gained ground in Syria and the situation worsened more and were chronic, Arab league passed a multilateral law to send representatives to Syria to oversee and look out the situation in Syria, release political prisoners and make Syrian army leave urban areas. Syrian government accepted the plan and passed it to be implemented.

But the league, influenced by the United Nations right commission, which had claimed Syria has not fulfilled his promises to Arab league’s draft, suspended Damascus’s membership from the league on November 12th and by inviting representatives from different oppositions to its meeting, raised political pressures on Syria.

Syria reactions

Syrian foreign minister Walid Al- Muallem announced his country’s first official reaction to Arab League’s new position. In an statement issued by Syria foreign ministry, Muallem harshly criticized Arab league countries and claimed that they were making grounds to send Syria case to UN security council and then a probable military intervention in the country. Condemning Arab league measures, the minister emphasized on his country’s resistance against any foreign plot. Syrian media censured the league’s decision too.

Possible impact of the sanctions

 Syria is one of the Arab countries which owns a fragile economy that heavily relies on trade and transition with its neighboring countries about 25 of the country’s importations is through its neighbors’ soil and more than 50 percents of its exportation is also through borderlines with Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

As Arab League decisions are a must for the members and Turkey’s affective accompany and its great impact on exerting the sanctions, it seems Syrian’s economy is more fragile than it used to be and so it has to bear more foreign pressure.

The outlook ahead

As Muallem has pointed to in his statement, it seems Arab League members accompanied by Turkey are trying hard to take Syria case to UN security council.

 The council itself made great efforts to pass a bill against Syria but China and Russia vetoed the proposed bill. At the time, supporting Arab League plan for solving Syria problem countries justified their decision, but now it seems china and Russia have no way out, if Syria case is taken to UN council once more.

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