Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah hosted a four-way meeting of Arab leaders on Wednesday aimed at closing ranks ahead of an Arab summit at the end of March in the Qatari capital. The meeting between Abdullah, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-ahmad al-Sabah, took place at a Riyadh air base, the state news agency SPA said.
The meeting was aimed at marking a thaw in relations between Syria on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and Egypt on the other. The Saudis called for the mini-summit in a bid to iron out Arab differences and present a united front at the Arab League summit set for March 29 and 30 in Qatar, AFP reported.
Assad's visit comes after years of strained relations over Damascus' close links with Iran.