Syrian President Bashar Assad has been invited to attend the COP28 climate talks in Dubai later this year, despite the ongoing conflict in his country. The invitation was extended by Emirati leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. Assad is also due to attend the Arab League summit in Jeddah on Friday. The Syrian president’s government’s crackdown on demonstrators during the Arab Spring led to civil war, which has killed 500,000 people and displaced half of Syria’s population. Syria is a party to both the Paris Climate Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol. A drought linked to climate change has been identified as a factor in the conflict.