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Assad to attend Arab League meet in Saudi Arabia — minister

By AFP - May 18,2023 - Last updated at May 18,2023

This combination of file photos created on May 17, shows a handout photo provided by the SPA of Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, and a handout photo released by the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad (AFP photo)

RIYADH — Syrian President Bashar Al Assad will attend this week his first Arab League summit in 13 years, his foreign minister confirmed Wednesday, signalling regional reintegration after more than a decade of war.

"He will come to attend this summit," Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told Lebanon's Al Jadeed TV on Wednesday when asked about Assad's attendance, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Jeddah.

The host of Friday’s summit, Saudi Arabia, has championed Assad’s return to the pan-Arab body and invited the Syrian leader over the objection of other regional leaders.

The Syrian government had been isolated in the region for years since its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2011 triggered a war that has killed more than 500,000 people.


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