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Arab League Summit Postponed Amid Corona Fear

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The 31st Arab Summit planned for the end of March in Algeria may be held before the end of June, in the wake of updates related to 'coronavirus' and the different visions regarding the return of Syria’s membership to the Arab League.


Syria’s membership has been suspended since 2011 and the issue of bringing it back to the League surfaced several times, however, officials from the League affirmed that none of the members made a request in this regard.


Speaking at a joint press conference on Saturday with Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum, Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit expressed hope that the Arab summit will be held before the end of June.


Aboul Gheit attributed the matter to current global developments, especially health conditions that cause concern from meetings and gatherings.


We hope these global conditions end before the proposed date, he said. The decision will be taken in coordination with Algeria as the host country, he continued.


A reliable source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that there is an Algerian wish that the summit introduces the return of Damascus to the League.


The source noted that the situation in the Arab world seems ready for this step and that the delay of the summit will serve to mobilize more support to pass this decision.


On Feb. 14, the Algerian FM called for ending the membership freezing of Syria. He stressed during a meeting with his Mauritanian counterpart Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed that not activating the membership of Syria is a loss to all members.


Aboul Gheit commenced a two-day visit to Algeria within his preparations for the 31st summit.
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