Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Syria "cooperative" as Arab mission heads to Homs

Arab League observers were en route to the flashpoint Syrian city of Homs on Tuesday amid reports that Syrian tanks were withdrawing from the city.....

The head of the Arab League's mission, Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, said the Syrian authorities had been forthcoming in providing assistance as the monitors headed to Homs.
"I am going to Homs. Till now, they have been very cooperative," al-Dabi said.

The Arab League also denied a report by Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al Arabiya that a member of its observers was shot and wounded in Homs, according to Egypt's Middle East News Agency.....

Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun was skeptical of the Arab League's ability to enforce its own plan, preferring that the UN Security Council assume the lead to ensure Syria abides by the protocol.

"It is better if the UN Security Council takes this (Arab League) plan, adopts and provides the means for its application," Ghalioun said. "That would give it more force."
The Arab "plan to defuse the crisis is a good plan, but I do not believe the Arab League really has the means" to enforce it, he said.

"The observers are working in conditions that the Arab League has described as not being good. ... I think we have not properly negotiated the working conditions of the observers," Ghalioun added.
Meanwhile, Syria's official news agency, SANA, published the names of the victims of last week's twin suicide car bombings in Damascus that claimed at least 40 lives.

(al-Akhbar, Reuters, AFP, MENA, SANA)

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