Issue Brief on “Syria: An Overview of the Latest Developments”

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On 19 May 2023, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad attended the Arab League (AL) Summit, held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the first time in over a decade.  The return of Syria back into the Arab fold is evidently part of a broader regional normalization process, which witnessed a major breakthrough with Chinese facilitation on 10 March 2023 between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

It has been more than a decade since Syria was suspended from the Arab League, which was done in the wake of Damascus’s crackdown on protests, in the wake of the ‘Arab Spring’ protests, which swept across several countries in the region in early 2011. The ensuing civil strife has continued till date, with large portions of the population deeply affected. The humanitarian situation in Syria remains dire, with millions of people suffering from the consequences of prolonged conflict and displacement. Millions of Syrians remain internally displaced or have sought refuge in neighboring countries. The lack of secure and stable conditions prevents many from returning to their homes. Multiple international actors, including the United Nations, have continued their efforts to facilitate a political solution to the Syrian conflict. According to the UN, since the conflict erupted in March 2011, Syria has witnessed unprecedented devastation and displacement. More than 6 million Syrians have left the country and 6.7 million are internally displaced. With more than 14 million people continuing to be in need of assistance, the conflict has caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.[1]

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