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Monday, January 23, 2012

Assad tells the Arab League he's not going anywhere

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has rejected an Arab League plan that would have him hand over power to a deputy while new elections are held.
Syrian state TV quoted an anonymous officials source as saying that the Arab plan, which also called for early elections and a unity government, is an "attack" on Syria's sovereignty and a "flagrant interference in internal affairs," according to AFP.

Arab foreign ministers agreed on Sunday to a new political roadmap for Syria that would see Assad delegating power to a deputy and setting up a unity government as a prelude to early parliamentary and presidential elections.

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told a news conference after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo that the Arab League would take its initiative to the UN Security Council and ask for its endorsement.

The meeting followed an announcement by Saudi Arabia that it was withdrawing its observers from the country after an Arab monitoring mission failed to stem 10 months of bloodshed.

Details of the Arab plan were not immediately available Sunday night. Still, a draft agreement leaked during the negotiations called for an independent Syrian commission of inquiry created to look into violations committed during the country’s uprising.

It was not clear, however, how the League might enforce its latest plan, given the failure of an Arab observer team in Syria to end the Assad government's repression of an uprising in which the United Nations says 5,000 people have died.
Maybe they should send Jimmy Carter there....

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