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Arab League - Syria

Arab League suspends Syria, invites opposition to discuss transition

Reuters

The Arab League has suspended Syria after it failed to implement the league’s peace plan and its continuing repression of opposition protests that have swept the country this year.

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The meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo also called on the opposition to discuss “transition” in the country and called for sanctions against the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The decision follows a week of deadly violence in the city of Homs, which brought estimates of the death toll in the city to 125.

Ministers were divided before a reduced-numbers meeting of ministers, with some countries reportedly opposing suspension.

Khaled al-Habbas, an assistant to Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, told reporters before the meeting that the situation in Syria was "complex" and "Arab countries are trying to find a solution that reconciles different viewpoints".

But the pro-suspension faction won the day, leaving the Assad regime more isolated after long-term criticism by the US and the European Union and pressure from neighbour Turkey. Russia and China have opposed strong action at the UN with Moscow accusing Assad’s critics of working for regime change.

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