Syrian president attends Arab League summit for first time in 13 years

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Syrian president attends Arab League summit for first time in 13 years

Syrian president attends Arab League summit for first time in 13 years
Crown Prince Mohammed (left) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia, on the 19th (Saudi royal family courtesy).

[Cairo Webdesk] Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who returned to the Arab League on the 7th, attended the summit meeting of the Arab League (21 countries and 1 organization) held in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia, on the 19th. It was the first time in 13 years that Mr. Assad attended, and it was a symbolic opportunity for Mr. Assad, who had been isolated in Arab society, to appeal his "resurrection" on the diplomatic stage in the Middle East. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also attended, although it was not originally planned.

Protest against Arab League Return Northern Syria

In his speech, Mr. Assad called the summit a "historic opportunity". "I hope it will be the starting point of a new phase towards solidarity, peace, and development instead of war and destruction," he said.

Syria was expelled from the league in 2011 for cracking down on dissidents. The return to the Arab League was allowed without solving problems such as the return of about 5.5 million refugees in neighboring countries and drug smuggling. A “comprehensive solution” to the Syrian crisis toward the end of the civil war has been an ongoing discussion and was the focus of this summit.

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