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EU cool on Arab League summit over Syria, Saudi concerns

BRUSSELS — A month after European Union leaders prepared for a summit with Arab League nations, enthusiasm for the Feb. 24-25 meeting in Egypt is waning.

EU diplomats expressed concern Friday that Syria could be invited back into the Arab League soon, and say that European leaders would be unwilling to sit down alongside President Bashar Assad.

The EU would also prefer to chair the meeting with host country Egypt, rather than the current presidency of the Arab League, Saudi Arabia.

The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because final preparations for the summit in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh will be made by ministers on Feb. 4.

The summit was announced with great fanfare last year as the EU sought Egypt’s help to stop migrants leaving Africa for Europe.

Lorne Cook, The Associated Press