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Jordan Forms ‘Friendship Committee’ With Syria As Arab World Appears Readying To ‘Rehabilitate’ Assad

Jordan’s parliament has formed a “Friendship Committee” with Syria, after a delegation of lawmakers visited Bashar al-Assad in Damascus last month. In November, the Jordanian delegation sought to “return bilateral relations to a level as strong as they were before 2011” when the conflict in neighboring Syria broke out. The initiative is the latest in a series of events that suggest regional governments have accepted Assad’s survival as a fait accompli and are thus creeping towards rehabilitating their ties to his regime. On Monday, a top-ranking Arab League official confirmed that while no consensus has been reached on lifting Syria’s suspension from the body, some Middle East countries are advocating for such a move. Talk of restoring Syria’s status recently resurfaced after Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir became the first Arab head of state since the outbreak of the war to travel to the Syrian capital.