Syrian ambassador rejects invitation to Beirut summit

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/1/18 13:00:18

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali said Thursday that he rejected the invitation to Lebanon's Arab Economic and Social Development Summit due to the "inappropriate approach" of the Arab League towards Syria, local media reported.

"I will not be attending the summit because the Arab League is the organizer of the event and its approach towards Syria is inappropriate," Ali was quoted as saying by Elnashra, an online independent newspaper.

Lebanon's foreign ministry, as part of "protocol rules," has sent invitations to the accredited ambassadors including Syria to attend the opening of the summit this weekend.

However, Syria was not invited to the summit on a country level because the Arab League passed a decree on Nov. 12, 2011 that suspends its membership.

The Arab League said it froze Syria's membership because its government failed to stop violence against civilian protesters back in 2011.

Ali said that it is natural for him to apologize from attending the event because the Arab League "did not turn away from the sin it committed against Damascus," stressing that "Syria is keen on its sovereignty and interests and also keen on its brotherly relations with Arabs when they review their positions."

Meanwhile, Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Thursday during his meeting at Baabda Palace with President Michel Aoun that there is no Arab consensus yet for the return of Syria to the Arab League.

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