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Arab League to decide whether Syrian opposition will take spare Damascus seat at upcoming annual summit in Doha

Last modified: 23 Mar 2013 05:18

Syrian opposition leaders are to address an annual summit of the Arab League for the first time in Qatar on Tuesday, but the bloc's members remain divided over whether to give them Damascus's vacant seat.

The Qatari hosts are vocal champions of the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime and said leaders of the armed opposition would definitely be joining Arab heads of state in Doha.

But they did not specify whether the Syrian National Coalition would be given Syria's seat which has been vacant since its suspension from the 22-member bloc in November 2011.

"Arab foreign ministers will decide on the issue of the seat" during a preparatory meeting in Doha on Sunday, an Arab League official told AFP.

The Arab League called on the National Coalition on March 6 to form an executive body to take up Syria's seat and take part in the summit.

But Lebanon distanced itself from the decision, while Algeria and Iraq expressed reservations.

Source: AFP