A general view of a meeting of the Arab League Foreign Ministers at its headquarters in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, Sept. 11, 2018. (AFP/Mohamed el-Shahed)
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Tensions flared Friday surrounding Syria's and Libya's invitations to the Arab Economic and Social Development summit, as Speaker Nabih Berri's office countered claims that he had been notified of the status of the countries' attendance.In a statement Friday morning, the AESD's media office said that both the head of the higher committee in charge of organizing the summit and the head of the summit's executive committee had briefed Berri, as well as Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, on the summit's preparations and the list of invited countries.Later Friday, Berri's office released a statement rejecting the summit's claims.In fact, the statement claimed, Berri's top aide, caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, had visited President Michel Aoun on Berri's request to protest inviting Libya to the summit.
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