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Damascus Turned Down Invitation to Arab League Summit in Beirut - Ambassador

© Sputnik / Mikhail Alaeddin / Go to the photo bankA view of the waterfront from the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut
A view of the waterfront from the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut - Sputnik International
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DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - Damascus received an invitation to attend the economic summit of the Arab League in Beirut, but refused to participate, Syrian Ambassador in Lebanon Ali Abdulkarim Ali said Thursday.

"We received an invitation from the Lebanese presidential office to participate in the economic summit. It was natural to refuse," the diplomat said, adding that the refusal was dictated by the fact that "the Arab League did not fix the mistakes it had made in relation to Damascus."

READ MORE: Arab League Will Not Raise Syria Presence at Tunis Summit — Deputy Chief

The statement comes after on Saturday, Arab League's Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki told Sputnik that Syria's invitation to the organization's summit in Tunisia in March would not be discussed during the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit that will take place in Beirut later this month.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, on what is expected to be implementation day, the day the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal. - Sputnik International
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Earlier in January, a diplomatic source from an Arab League state told Sputnik that the organization was working on a resolution to readmit Syria. The move, he said, could be discussed as early as this month. Most recently, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the Beirut summit should not be held without Syria.

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in 2011 after the war in the country broke out. Member states then recalled their ambassadors from the country. However, they are now making steps to re-establish diplomatic ties with Damascus.

Lebanon, which will host the League’s economic summit on January 19-20, sought last year to convince other member states to invite Syria to Beirut but the discussion was postponed until the Tunisian summit.

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