Published: 10:24, May 19, 2023 | Updated: 12:13, May 19, 2023
Syria's Assad arrives to Saudi Arabia for Arab league summit
By Reuters

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (second left) speaking with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit (left) while Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad (right) speaks with the Deputy Emir of Mecca Prince Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz (second right) ahead of the 32nd Arab League Summit in Jeddah on May 18, 2023. (PHOTO / SANA / AFP)

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Thursday to attend the Arab League's 32nd Summit on Friday.

The visit, the first since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, comes as Syria and Saudi Arabia have resumed diplomatic missions in both countries, which have been suspended since November 2011

Upon his arrival, Assad was greeted by Prince Badr bin Sultan, deputy governor of Mecca, along with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, and several other local officials, according to the Syrian presidential media office in Damascus.

READ MORE: Syria rejoins Arab League after 12-year absence

Striking a positive vibe, Assad grinned while shaking hands with the officials receiving him at the airport.

The visit, the first since the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, comes as Syria and Saudi Arabia have resumed diplomatic missions in both countries, which have been suspended since November 2011.

READ MORE: Arab foreign ministers meet ahead of Arab League Summit

Earlier this month, the Arab League voted to reinstate Syria's membership in the 22-member league.