Arab League Discusses Syria Mission
January 08, 2012
Foreign ministers of the Arab League member states are meetingin Cairo to assess the performance of the organization’s observer mission in Syria.
The mission, which began work in Syria on December 26, has come under scrutiny, with critics noting that the mission has not resulted a halt of violence by the Syrian regime's forces against protesters.
The Syrian opposition has called on the Arab League to admit that the mission has failed, and has urged that the Syrian matter be handed over to the United Nations.
Reports say, however, that the Arab League meeting in Cairo is not expected to result in a recall of the observers.
Ahead of the meeting, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani was quoted as saying the Syrian regime had not implemented the terms of the Arab League-backed peace plan.
He said Syrian forces had not withdrawn from cities and there had been no end to the killing.
Meanwhile, activists said 11 Syrian soldiers were killed in fighting with deserters in Deraa province on January 8.
Also, the Syrian regime on January 7 held funerals for 26 people killed in Damascus in what has been described as a suicide bombing.
Opposition groups have suggested the government orchestrated the bombing in an attempt to tar the opposition.
The United Nations has estimated that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Arab Spring-inspired uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
compiled from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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