Arab League states seek suspension of SyriaJune 15th, 2011 - 9:07 am ICT by IANS
Cairo, June 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Many of the Arab League member countries have proposed suspending Syria’s membership in the organisation over violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protests by its government, the Egyptian Al Ahram newspaper said Tuesday.
The Arab League currently has 22 members and four observers.
Sources in the Arab League told the paper that the proposed measure is intended to demonstrate a protest against the “Syrian army and security forces’ actions aimed at suppressing demonstrations in support of changes and reforms” in the Arab country.
The proposal has faced opposition from countries neighbouring Syria, who have expressed concerns that the isolation of Damascus would lead to tensions between local political forces.
It is feared to further deteriorate the situation in the country and hamper efforts to reestablish peace, the paper said.
The Arab League’s secretary general, Amr Moussa, said Monday that Arab countries were very concerned over the continuing violence in Syria that has claimed hundreds of lives over the past three months.
He said, however, that there is no consensus among Arab states about measures to be taken in order to put an end to the unrest.
In March, the Arab League suspended Libya’s membership after Col. Muammar Gaddafi sent tanks to fight protesters in the rebellious east. The organisation then asked the United Nations Security Council to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Gaddafi’s planes from bombing rebels.
Syrian rights organisations have estimated that some 1,300 people have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested in Syria since protests demanding the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian rule broke out in the country in mid-March.
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