Qatari Emir to ‘Personally’ Attend Beirut Economic Summit
Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani informed the Presidential Palace that he will personally head Qatar’s delegation attending the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit held in Beirut on Sunday, a statement from the Lebanese Presidency said Monday.
The emir of Qatar was planning to send a delegation to represent him at the summit which has been overshadowed by divisions and controversy over Syria's participation.
Organizers of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, or AESD, initially said that seven Arab heads of state would attend Sunday's summit which is being held in Lebanon for the first time. But only two heads of state are now expected, the leaders of Somalia and Mauritania, after several others pulled out despite previously having confirmed their attendance.
Somalia later announced that its president won’t be attending the summit for “family reasons,” and that a delegation representing the President will be sent.
Syria's membership in the 22-member Arab League was suspended in 2011 after the Syrian government's military crackdown on protesters calling for reforms.