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Coalition Yet to Receive Invitation to Egypt’s Arab Summit

Coalition claims inquiry sent to Arab League over snub, while Egyptian official claims host country is not responsible for invitations
Coalition Yet to Receive Invitation to Egypt’s Arab Summit

Legal Committee of the Syrian National Coalition cheif, Haitham al-Maleh, said, "the Coalition has not received an invitation from Cairo to attend the Arab summit, which starts next Saturday".

Invitations to attend the Arab summit usually come from the host country, and the Syrian National Coalition has not received any invitation, Maleh told the Anatolia news agency. Maleh explained that the Coalition has sent a memorandum to the Arab League in regard to this a few days ago, but is yet to receive a response.

Maleh stressed that the Coalition's absence in the Arab summit indicates that Cairo has decided to ignore the Arab summit resolutions.

An Egyptian diplomatic source claimed: "Syria's seat is vacant since the decision was made to freeze Syria's membership in November. There is no decision to hand the seat to the Coalition as of yet, as we think that inviting the Coalition is not obligatory". The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, rejected the idea of inviting the Coalition on the grounds it was invited to earlier summits in Doha and Kuwait.

The Coalition previously participated in the Doha Arab summit in 2013 where the former head of the Coalition, Mouaz al-Khatib occupied Syria's seat. The Kuwait summit in 2014 brought a slight change, as former head of the Coalition Ahmed Jarba did not take Syria's seat, but he did participate in the summit and delivered a speech. Kuwait's summit also issued a resolution to invite the Coalition to attend the Arab League meetings.

The Egyptian official said: "We are not responsible for inviting the Coalition. The General Secretariat of the Arab League is responsible for this – they have the right to decide whether to invite the Coalition or not".

The Egyptian city of Sharm al-Sheikh will host the summit, to be held on March 28 and 29, to discuss regional issues including the Arab national security, and the fight against the expansion of terrorist organizations in the region.

The summit will also discuss a report on the implementation of previous summit resolutions, with a report from the follow-up committee about the implementation of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit held in Riyadh.

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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