Saudi king invites Syria’s Assad to attend Arab League summit

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has invited Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to attend an Arab League summit scheduled to be held in Jeddah next week.

Syrian media reported on Wednesday that the May 19 summit “will enhance joint Arab action to achieve the aspirations of the Arab peoples.”

Saudi Ambassador to Jordan Nayef bin Bandar al-Sudairi delivered the invitation.

This comes more than a decade after Syria’s membership was suspended by the 22-member regional organization. The last Arab League summit Assad attended was in 2010 in Libya.

Arab government representatives in Cairo voted on Sunday to return Syria to the Arab League after a 12-year suspension. All 13 of the 22 member states that attended the session endorsed the decision.

Riyadh and Damascus agreed in March to resume diplomatic relations and re-open embassies after more than a decade.

In April, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with Assad in Damascus on the first such visit since foreign-backed militancy rocked Syria in 2011.

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