- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
Arab League suspends Syria mission
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 483 days ago | Saturday, 28th January , 2012 , 19:17 [pm] | International
|.|| The Arab League has suspended its monitoring mission in Syria due to what it called the escalation of violence and “critical deterioration of the situation” in the country.
Nabil Elaraby, the
The Arab League has suspended its monitoring mission in Syria due to what it called the escalation of violence and “critical deterioration of the situation” in the country.
Nabil Elaraby, the secretary-general of the Arab League, announced the decision in a statement on Saturday.
“It has been decided to immediately stop the work of the Arab League’s mission to Syria pending presentation of the issue to the league’s council,” he said.
The bloc said around 100 observers would remain in the country but would not undertake new missions.
The mission was set up in December to monitor Damascus’ compliance with an Arab League plan to end a bloody crackdown on 10 months of protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
The bloc extended the 165-member mission after its first month, but Gulf Arab states later withdrew their monitors.
The mission has been widely criticised by the Syrian opposition for failing to bring a halt to the government’s crackdown on protests.
Arab peace plan
The Arab League also confirmed on Saturday that it was holding talks with Russia, one of the main opponents of the bloc’s peace plan.
The talks come ahead of a United Nations meeting on Monday. The Arab League and Western countries are pushing for a UN Security Council vote on a draft resolution on Syria – although Russia opposes the move.
The Arab League chief and Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani are set to leave for New York on Saturday to seek UN support for the latest Arab plan to end Syria’s crisis.
The plan calls for a two-month transition to a unity government, with Assad giving his vice-president full powers to work with the proposed government.
Russia, which joined China in vetoing a previous resolution in October, said the draft was unacceptable in its present form, but said it was willing to “engage” on it. Syria has rejected the proposal, saying it violates its sovereignty.
The Security Council discussed a draft European-Arab resolution on Friday aimed at halting the violence.
Opposition activists say that at least 80 people have been killed in the past three days in Syria, and a further 27 people have been killed across the country on Saturday.
There have been witness reports of fierce clashes on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, and heavy shelling in the Baba Amr neighbourhood in the restive city of Homs.
The UN says more than 5,000 people have been killed since March when protests erupted against Assad’s rule.aljazeera, Voice of a Nation