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Sudan, Syria on top of summit agenda as Arab leaders flock to Jeddah


May 18, 2023
Sudan, Syria on top of summit agenda as Arab leaders flock to Jeddah


Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH , Pinning great hope on realizing Arab aspirations of greater unity and integration and resolution of major crises, Arab heads of state and leaders started arriving in Jeddah on Thursday to attend the 32nd ordinary session of the Arab League summit.

The major regional files, notably the crisis in Sudan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Syrian file are on top of the agenda of Friday’s summit, which is witnessing Syria’s return to the 22-member bloc after a hiatus of 12 years.

The leaders who arrived in Jeddah on Thursday included Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Paletinian President Mahmoud Abbas, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, and Chairman of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Muhammad Al- To install Alimi. The Syrian Presidency announced on Thursday that President Bashar al-Assad is heading for Jeddah to attend the summit. Al-Assad is attending the Arab summit for the first time in 12 years, after suspending his country’s membership from the Arab League in 2011 following the outbreak of the Syrian crisis. The Syrian delegation, headed by Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, is attending the preparatory meeting of foreign ministers from Wednesday.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan is receiving the high-level Arab delegations who are flocking to Jeddah to take part in the summit. The Arab foreign ministers resumed the second day of their sessions on Thursday, finalizing the agenda of the summit and making finishing touches to the draft resolutions, prior to their presentation at the summit. They stressed the importance of a ceasefire in Sudan to ensure the safety of its citizens and called for the crisis to be treated as an internal matter.

Saudi Arabia took over the rotating presidency of the Arab League summit as Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf handed over the presidency to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Wednesday. In his presidential address, Prince Faisal bin Farhan underscored the need for unity among Arab countries in order to overcome common challenges and difficulties as well as to confront major global challenges. The foreign minister welcomed the Arab delegations, especially the Syrian delegation. He emphasized that the world is going through great challenges that warrant us to stand united to confront them.

In his speech, Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit affirmed that the Arab presence is full at the Jeddah summit, welcoming Syria’s return to the Arab League. Aboul Gheit pointed out that there are positive indications from Iran and Turkey to stop their interference in the affairs of Arab countries.

The Kingdom’s hosting of the Arab summit comes as an extension of the paramount role of the Saudi leadership at the regional and international levels, and strengthening communications with leaders of Arab countries. The 32nd session of the Arab Summit is being held at a time when that the region and the world are going through unprecedented circumstances in terms of regional and international crises and conflicts.

These necessitate the Arab countries to find mechanisms through which they can confront common challenges, enhance regional security and stability, and achieve well-being for their countries and peoples, through evolving political coordination mechanisms under the umbrella of the Arab League, in addition to enhancing economic cooperation and advancing development in various fields that directly affect the Arab citizens.


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