Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir is first Arab leader to visit Syria since crisis

Sudan’s president on Sunday became the first Arab League leader to visit Syria since civil war erupted there nearly eight years ago.


President Bashar al Assad welcomed him at the airport, official photos showed. Many Arab countries have shunned Assad since the conflict that began early in 2011 after protests calling for his downfall swept Syria.

Syria was expelled from the 22-member Arab League soon after war broke out in 2011. Arab countries have sanctioned Damascus and condemned Assad for using overwhelming military force and failing to negotiate with the opposition.

Although many Arab countries have closed their embassies or downgraded their ties with Damascus, there have been growing calls in the Arab world in recent months to normalise ties with Syria and give it back its seat in the Arab League.

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