Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has made a significant visit to Saudi Arabia to participate in the Arab League summit, marking his first visit to the country since the commencement of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Saudi media reports have highlighted the historical nature of this visit, emphasizing the prolonged absence of President al-Assad from Saudi Arabia due to the conflict. Syria’s previous membership in the Arab League had been suspended due to its failure to cease the brutal crackdown on protesters.
The reinstatement of Syria’s membership in the Arab League after more than a decade has been formalized with President al-Assad’s arrival in Jeddah, where the summit is being held. The decision to restore Syria’s membership was collectively agreed upon during the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia. Notably, in recent days, several Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have engaged in high-level diplomatic visits aimed at reestablishing relations with Syria.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan visited Damascus last month to engage in discussions regarding the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Similarly, the Iranian president recently visited Syria and signed multiple agreements, highlighting the renewed efforts to strengthen ties with Syria.
The Arab League summit, scheduled to take place on May 19 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has attracted the presence of various influential figures, including members of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Tunisia’s President Qais Saeed, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Lebanon’s Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Meqati, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Their arrival in Jeddah demonstrates the significance and breadth of the summit’s participants.