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Traffic jam, heightened security ahead of Arab League Summit in Jeddah

May 18, 2023 at 5:56 pm

An Asian street vendor sells roses to drivers in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah on February 14, 2012, where open celebration of Valentine’s Day is officially banned along with the desert kingdom’s strict Islamic laws [AMER HILABI/AFP via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia’s western coastal city of Jeddah was hit by a huge traffic jam on Thursday, ahead of the Arab League Summit scheduled for Friday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

An increase in police presence on the streets and main thoroughfares was also seen as leaders of the 22-member League started arriving in the modern commercial hub.

An official from the Saudi Media Ministry told Anadolu that the traffic problems were caused due to extensive security measures put in place to ensure the safety of the leaders.

Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, was one of the first to arrive besides Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, while others are expected to reach by tonight.

This year’s Summit will also be attended by Syria, whose membership was reinstated after a 12-year suspension.

Syria’s participation was suspended following Bashar Al-Assad’s crackdown on mass protesters in 2011, which led to a civil war.

READ: Syria Assad to steal spotlight at Arab Summit after years in the cold