Arab foreign ministers welcome Syria’s return to the Arab League ahead of Jeddah summit

BEIRUT (AP) — Arab foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia have welcomed Syria back to the Arab League, and called for a cease-fire in conflict-hit Sudan ahead of the organization’s annual summit taking place in the kingdom . This year’s summit, starting Friday in the city of Jeddah, will mark the readmittance of Syria into the 22-member league, after a 12-year suspension. Syria’s membership was frozen following Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on the 2011 mass protests against his rule. The country quickly descended into a brutal civil war that has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.