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Syria Back in, Zelenskiy in Attendance: Highlights from Arab League Summit in Jeddah

May 20, 2023
Leaders of Arab States at the 32nd high-level meeting of the Arab League. Source: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs on Twitter.

With Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy in attendance, the Arab League summit in Jeddah highlighted the new dynamics of a changing region this Friday, 19 May. Saudi crown prince Mohamed bin Salman welcomed leaders to the 32nd regular high-level meeting of Arab League states. The highlight of the summit in the press was Syria’s presence after 12 years. Syria Returns to the Fold Syria, suspended since 2011 for the Assad regime’s violent repression of protests, was welcomed back amid a desire by Arab leaders to close the dossier on the war-torn countries. As leader of the summit’s host country, Bin Salman greeted a beaming Assad as he entered the venue. “We hope that [Syria’s delegations’ return to Arab League meetings] helps support Syria’s stability and the return to normal, with Syria playing its natural role in the Arab world,” bin Salman said. Assad, ostracized for over a decade by the region and the world, except for allies Russia and Iran, described the global geopolitical landscape as “exposed as multipolar due to the amoral, friendless, and partner-less west’s hegemony.” The Syrian president continued to say that the…

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