Arab League Meets Over Syria Crisis

Arab foreign ministers held a meeting on Sunday in Cairo, to discuss Syria’s possible suspension from the regional body which would increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to end its crackdown on protesters.

Sunday's meeting was requested by several Gulf Arab countries around six months after a peaceful protests calling for reform. The urgent nature of this meeting reflects fears that the Syrian conflict could turn into a civil war that would destabilize its neighbors.

Qatari Foreign Minister, Jasim Bin Jabir Al-Thani, who chaired the meeting said the Arab League should be responsible for bringing together the Syrian government and opposition to find ways to end the violence in the country.

The permanent delegate said the League was calling on the Syrian government to set out a timetable for pulling out of towns and ending the massacre of civilians.

Al-Thani said, "We are bound, as Arab brothers, to meet and find ways for a possible solution as well as to take all necessary measures to put an end to the violence and the bloodshed. We have a responsibility towards the Syrian people and the Arab nation and cannot allow the continuation of the present situation in Syria."

The Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby, said Syria must uphold its international integrity and failure to respond to the mounting crisis in will fundamentally delegitimize the Arab leadership across the region.

The Syrian Ambassador to the Arab League, however, rejected outside interference in his country’s affairs but welcomed assistance in resolving the "crisis".

The League has also called for economic and diplomatic isolation of the Syrian government, and extended its support for United Nations efforts to investigate alleged human rights violations.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has intensified his military’s crackdown on protests. At least 3,000 civilians have been killed by Syrian military operations since the uprising against the Assad regime began, according to the United Nations.

Speaker: Qatari Foreign Minister, Jasim Bin Jabir Al-Thani

Voice: Mourad Kricha

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