Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is to attend an Arab League summit for the first time since it was suspended from the regional body 12 years ago.

Mr. Assad was shunned by many fellow leaders after his government’s violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests triggered a civil war in which half a million people have been killed.

Syria was readmitted this month after states which had backed the opposition accepted his grip on power was secure.

They include summit hosts Saudi Arabia.

The rapprochement accelerated following the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and north-western Syria in February, when once-hostile powers decided to send humanitarian aid to Syrian government-controlled areas.

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