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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visits Saudi Arabia for Arab League summit

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Saudi Arabia on Thursday for his first visit to the kingdom since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. He was invited by King Salman bin Abdulaziz to attend the Arab League summit on Friday, which will mark Syria’s full return to the regional bloc after 12 years of suspension.

The visit is seen as a diplomatic victory for Assad with the help of his allies Russia and Iran, he has regained control over most of the country and crushed the armed opposition that was once backed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab and Western states.

Assad’s participation in the summit is also a sign of Saudi Arabia’s changing approach to regional issues, as it seeks to reduce tensions and focus on its economic transformation plans.

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