Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has arrived in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, according to Al-Arabiya TV and Syrian state television.

Al-Assad will attend the Arab League summit on Friday after Syria was reinstated to the regional organisation this month, more than 11 years after its suspension.

Al-Assad and his government were shunned beginning in 2011 for the brutal crackdown on opposition protesters and the subsequent devastating war in Syria.

But the president’s arrival in regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia on Thursday is the latest example of an attempt by the majority of Arab states to now restore ties.

The host country was formerly a key backer of armed opposition groups that sought to overthrow al-Assad during Syria’s war.

However, in recent months, Riyadh has called for dialogue to end the conflict, which has killed half a million people and displaced half of Syria’s pre-war population.