With Syrian presence, Arab summit preparatory meetings begin in Bahrain

Location of the Arab summit in Manama, Bahrain - May 9, 2024 (Al-Ayam Bahraini newspaper)

Location of the Arab summit in Manama, Bahrain - May 9, 2024 (Al-Ayam Bahraini newspaper)


Today, Saturday, May 11, the preparatory activities for the Arab summit scheduled in Manama, Bahrain, kicked off with a meeting of senior officials from the Economic and Social Council, including the participation of a delegation from the Syrian regime, a year after it regained its seat in the Arab League.

The official Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported on Friday, May 10, that the preparatory meeting is discussing a number of draft resolutions that will be presented to the Economic and Social Council at the ministerial level.

The Syrian delegation at the preparatory meeting for the Arab summit includes the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Mohammad Samer al-Khalil, and the Deputy Minister for Economic Development Affairs, Rania Ahmad.

According to the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, this marks the first time that Bahrain is hosting a meeting of this nature, whether at the level of regular or emergency Arab summits.

The King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, had expressed Manama’s desire to host the Arab summit during the events of the Jeddah summit in Saudi Arabia in 2023.

What is the preparatory schedule for the Arab summit?

Al-Ayam Bahraini newspaper published the preparatory schedule for the Arab summit, stating that today, Saturday, will witness the meeting of senior officials of the Economic and Social Council for the Arab League at the summit level, followed by the Economic and Social Council meeting at the ministerial level in preparation for the summit tomorrow, Sunday, May 12.

It is scheduled that on the coming Monday, May 13, a meeting of the Follow-up Body on the implementation of decisions and commitments at the level of permanent delegates and senior officials in preparation for the preparatory meeting of Foreign Ministers for the summit will take place.

The Follow-up Body on the implementation of decisions and commitments at the ministerial level and the meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers are set to be held on Tuesday, May 14, to discuss agenda items and agree on the issues and topics that will be presented to the Arab leaders during their upcoming summit.

The 33rd Arab Summit is supposed to be held in Manama on Thursday, May 16, attended by Arab leaders. According to a statement from the Arab League, this summit gains international momentum, amidst the security challenges facing the region, underscoring the necessity to reach constructive decisions that enhance Arab solidarity and support efforts to bring about peace, security, and stability in the region.

The summit will take place in the context of the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza since October 7, 2023, which has left more than 113,000 dead and wounded, mostly children and women, about 10,000 missing, amid massive destruction and famine that has taken the lives of children and the elderly.

The Syrian regime will participate in the Manama summit for the second consecutive time, following its first participation in Jeddah, after a 12-year absence from Arab summits due to the suspension of its membership in the Arab League.

On May 7, 2023, Syria returned to the Arab League after an extraordinary meeting held by the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers in Cairo.

The Arab League, at that time, called for the necessity to take practical and effective steps towards resolving the crisis in Syria based on the principle of step-by-step action, in accordance with Security Council Resolution No. “2254,” continuing efforts to provide humanitarian aid to all those in need in Syria.


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