The President of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, will participate, on Friday, in the Arab Summit to be held in Jeddah, for the first time since 2010, after diplomatic efforts that led to the return of Damascus to its Arab surroundings after more than 11 years of isolation against the backdrop of the devastating conflict in Syria.
Damascus’ membership in the League of Arab States was suspended in response to its suppression of the popular protests that took to the streets in 2011, before turning into a bloody conflict that claimed the lives of more than half a million people.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad, who participated, on Wednesday, in a preparatory meeting for the summit held by foreign ministers of Arab countries in Jeddah, said that al-Assad “will come to attend this summit.”
In addition to the normalization of relations with the Assad regime, two major crises are expected to top the agenda of the summit: the month-long conflict in Sudan between the army led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Lieutenant General Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), and the ongoing conflict in Yemen since more than eight years.
In the statement they issued on May 7 and announcing that Syria would be reinstated in the university, the Arab foreign ministers affirmed “the keenness to launch an Arab leadership role in efforts to solve” the Syrian crisis and its repercussions, including refugee crises, drug smuggling and the “threat of terrorism.”
The meeting decided to form a ministerial committee that works to continue “direct dialogue with the Syrian government to reach a comprehensive solution to the Syrian crisis.”
A preparatory meeting for the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers began, Wednesday, in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia, to prepare for the Arab summit at the level of leaders, which is scheduled to be held on Friday in the Kingdom.
And the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, took over the presidency of the Arab summit from his Algerian counterpart, Ahmed Ataf.