Syria Agrees to Arab League Plan to End Crackdown

Posted November 1st, 2011 at 12:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Syrian state television says Damascus has agreed to an Arab League plan to end its crackdown on an opposition uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year rule.

In a report Tuesday, Syrian state television said Syria will officially announce its acceptance of the plan at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Wednesday.

No other details were immediately available.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem discussed the Arab League proposals during talks with Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim al-Thani in Doha on Sunday.

Arab diplomats said the plan calls for the Syrian government to withdraw security forces from the streets, stop violence by pro-government forces against civilians, and begin a dialogue with the Syrian opposition in Cairo.

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted diplomatic sources as saying Syria objected to meeting opposition leaders in Cairo and insisted on holding such talks in Damascus.

On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for the Syrian opposition. Turkey's Today's Zaman reported that Mr. Erdogan told a Parliament meeting that he believes “the Syrian people will be successful in their glorious resistance.”

The 22-member Arab League sharpened its criticism of Syria after rights activists said Syrian security forces shot and killed dozens of anti-government protesters on Friday.

The United Nations says the number of people killed in the seven-month-old uprising has surpassed 3,000. The Syrian government says terrorists have killed hundreds of security personnel during that period.

Many Syrian protesters have been calling for Western powers to impose a Libya-style no-fly zone over Syria. But, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday the alliance has no intention of taking military action in Syria.