Diplomats from Arab nations are planning an emergency meeting in Cairo over the weekend about the fighting in Sudan and the prospect of Syria’s return to the Arab League more than a decade after its membership was suspended, an official said on Monday. Friday.

Sunday’s meeting, confirmed by Gamal Rushdy, a spokesman for the Arab League, comes as some Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have opened relations with Syrian President Bashar Assad and their foreign ministers have visited Damascus in recent weeks. Syria’s foreign minister also visited Cairo and the Saudi capital Riyadh in April, the first such visits in more than a decade.

Syria’s membership in the 22-member Arab League was suspended in the early months of the war 12 years ago, and Arab countries subsequently imposed economic sanctions. The conflict has killed nearly half a million people since March 2011 and displaced half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.

Saudi Arabia will host the next Arab League summit on May 19, when Syria’s membership is expected to be on the table. Some members, mainly gas-rich Qatar, have opposed Damascus’s return to the organization.

In November 2011, 18 of the 22 members of the Arab League supported suspending Syria’s membership. Lebanon, Yemen and Syria voted against the decision, while Iraq abstained.

The Cairo meeting on Sunday of Arab foreign ministers will focus on restoring Syria’s membership and comes at the request of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Rushdy said.

When asked about the vote count, Rushdy said that the Arab League’s decisions are generally resolutions made by consensus, but each country has the right to make reservations.

In recent years, as Assad has consolidated control over most of the country with the help of his main allies Russia and Iran, Syria’s neighbors have begun to take steps toward rapprochement. The proposals have accelerated since the massive February 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and the restoration of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, brokered by China, which had backed opposing sides in the Syrian conflict.

Syria and Saudi Arabia said last month they were moving towards reopening embassies and resuming flights between the two countries for the first time in more than a decade.

The Syrian pro-government daily Al-Watan reported on Friday that a foreign ministry delegation recently visited the Syrian embassy in Riyadh in preparation to reopen the mission in the coming weeks.

The foreign ministers will also discuss Sudan, which has been in chaos since fighting broke out in mid-April between the country’s two top rival generals, killing more than 400 people. The conflict began on April 15, preceded by months of escalating tensions between the military, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and a rival paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The fighting turned urban areas into battlefields and foreign governments rushed to evacuate their diplomats and thousands of foreign nationals out of Sudan.