Saudia Arabia and Egypt had earlier announced they would be represented by low-level delegations in protest against what they called Syrian "meddling" in Lebanon.

Lebanon's government said it would boycott the event amid the continuing deadlock with the Syrian-backed opposition over the make-up of the cabinet and the election of a new president.
 
'Presidential void'

On Friday, Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, gave a televised speech blaming Syria for the political crisis in his country. 
  
"Lebanon has had a presidential void for more than four months," he said.
 
"Before and during that period Syria played a leading role to exacerbate the crisis ... interfering in Lebanon's internal affairs and blocking the election of the consensus candidate to the presidency."
"Syria cannot be isolated. Whoever is absent is only isolating themselves"

Yousef Ahmed, Syria's ambassador to the Arab League
Lebanon has been without a president since Emile Lahoud's term finished last November.

Siniora also urged Arab League foreign ministers to hold a special meeting as soon as possible to help repair Lebanese-Syrian relations.
 
He said his government was keen on establishing diplomatic relations with Damascus.
  
"The Lebanese government stresses once again its desire to establish healthy, brotherly relations with Syria based on mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and independence," he said.

He said that the border between the two countries needed to be clearly defined and called on Damascus to co-operate with the Lebanese government in dealing with the disarmament of factions operating outside Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Lebanon has been mired in a political crisis for over a year due to  political feuding between the government, backed by the West, and the Hezbollah-led opposition, which is backed by Syria and Iran.

US 'influence'
 
Damascus has played down the absences to the Arab League summit.
 
"Syria cannot be isolated. Whoever is absent is only isolating themselves ... most of the Arabs are here," Yousef Ahmed, Syria's ambassador to the Arab League, said.
 
Leaders from Algeria, Comoros, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Sudan, Tunisia, and the UAE are all set to take part.
 
The summit is intended to discuss crises across the Arab world, including in Lebanon, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, a power struggle between Fatah and Hamas and the continuing violence in Iraq.
 
But the decision by some member countries to not attend or to send only low-level delegations could undermine the two-day meeting.

Moustafa Dabbas, a US-based Arab journalist, told Al Jazeera: "The west pressures some Arabs not to come because they want [the] summit to fail. I don't think [it will], the summit will win."
 
The US last week called on its Arab allies to think carefully about attending the summit, accusing Syria of blocking the election of a president in Lebanon.

Morocco and Oman have also announced they were sending low-level delegates while Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, said on Friday that he would not be able to attend the summit due to a struggle with Shia militias at home.