JEDDAH Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad landed in Jeddah on Thursday to participate in the 32nd Arab Summit.

Upon arrival at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Al-Assad was received by Prince Badr bin Sultan, Deputy Governor of Makkah Region. Al-Assad’s visit was in response to an invitation from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to attend the Arab League summit.

This was the first visit of Al-Assad to Saudi Arabia in 12 years. The 32nd ordinary summit of the Arab League differs from summits of previous years as it is the first to be attended by Syria after the country’s membership was suspended in 2011.

In a statement on its Twitter account, the Syrian Presidency announced on Thursday that President Al-Assad is heading to Jeddah to attend the summit. While confirming Assad’s participation in the summit, Abdel Qader Azouz, advisor to the Syrian Presidency, emphasized the importance of the Arab role in resolving the Syrian crisis. Azouz stressed that Syria has always been one of the countries that are most keen to attend summits and meetings of the Arab League.

The advisor also spoke about Saudi Arabia’s role in bringing Syria back to the Arab fold, explaining that Damascus views with great satisfaction the efforts made by the Kingdom to restore its position and resume its activities in the Arab League and also in supporting stability through the Saudi-Iranian agreement.

The Syrian delegation, headed by Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, arrived in Jeddah on Wednesday and is attending the two-day preparatory meeting of foreign ministers ahead of the summit. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit welcomed the high-level Syrian delegation.

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