Arab League Seeks Joint Arab-UN Peacekeeping Mission In Syria
February 12, 2012
The Arab League is calling for a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping mission to end the 11-month-old conflict in Syria.
The Arab League has been at the forefront of efforts to end 11 months of bloodshed in Syria.
In a resolution seen by the BBC but not yet officially released, the Arab League's foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo, said they have scrapped the group's observer mission, which was suspended last month amid escalating violence.
The Arab League also said it was ending all diplomatic cooperation with Syria and urging contacts with the opposition.
The foreign ministers accepted the resignation of Sudanese General Mohammed al-Dabi as the head of the observer mission. Dabi had been criticized by human rights groups for his actions in Darfur, where Sudan is accused of genocide.
In Syria itself, reports said conditions in the western city of Homs are getting desperate, with basic supplies running low after a week under virtual siege.
Activists say more than 400 people have been killed since security forces launched an assault on the city’s opposition-held areas on February 4.
Activists say more than 6,000 people have died throughout Syria since March, while the government claims that at least 2,000 members of its security forces have been killed combating "armed gangs and terrorists."
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which has expelled Syrian ambassadors from its member countries, also met on February 12.
Saudi Arabia, a GCC and Arab League member, is circulating a draft resolution at the UN General Assembly similar to the one vetoed in the Security Council by China and Russia on February 4.
The text supports the Arab League peace plan that calls on President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his vice president.
There is no power of veto at the General Assembly but its resolutions have no legal force, unlike those of the Security Council.
Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri is calling on Muslims across the Arab world and beyond to support the rebels in Syria.
In an eight-minute video posted on the Internet, Zawahri urges Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan to come to the aid of Syrian rebels.
The Egyptian-born Zawahri also called on Syrians not to rely on the West or Arab governments in their uprising against Assad's "pernicious, cancerous 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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