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Syrian Official Rejects Linking Summit Participation to Lebanese Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Damascus, Asharq Al-Awsat- A source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry has asserted to Asharq Al-Awsat that Syria continues its perpetrations for the upcoming summit in Damascus on its set date, while Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem is on a tour of the Gulf to deliver the invitations to the Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.

However the source also revealed that Saudi Arabia has yet to set a date for receiving the invitation.

Invitations have been delivered to several countries and these are Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Djibouti, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Kuwait. Several Muslim countries will also be invited, among them Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, and others to attend the summit as observers, as usual.

Regarding a number of Arab countries’ linkage of their presence or the level of their representation at the Damascus summit to finding a solution for the Lebanese crisis, the official Syrian source said “Syria is eager to ensure the summit’s success and holding this conference is of great importance to it. It hopes that all the Arab brothers will attend at the highest representations. But this does not mean that some have the right to link their presence to finding a solution for the crisis in Lebanon.”

The source added: “Arab summits are held to discuss finding solutions and not the opposite.” Regarding the crisis in Lebanon, the source said “Syria does what it has to do to help Lebanon find a solution according to the Arab initiative.” It stressed that responsibility for the Arab initiative’s success in Lebanon is not Syria’s alone because this is an Arab initiative and there are other Arab parties which must act and participate instead of political escalation.

The Arab initiative “is stalled in Lebanon because the efforts for it are not exerted in the right way.” The source stressed that the cooperation of all the Arab parties, particularly those with influence in Lebanon, is required in order to bring all the Lebanese parties together and make concessions “so as to reach a solution that protects Lebanon’s interest” on the basis of “no victor no vanquished” principle. And this is impossible except” by implementing the Arab initiative as one basket”, which is electing a consensual president, a national unity government, and amendment of the elections law.”