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Syria signs deal to allow international observer mission


Syria signs deal to allow int'l observer mission

Syria signed a protocol Monday to allow international monitors into the country, as part of an Arab peace plan that aims to end a nine-month crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

By News Wires (text)
France 24, December 19, 2011

AP- Syria's Foreign Minister says Damascus has signed an Arab League agreement allowing Arab observers into the country.

Speaking in Damascus, Walid al-Moallem says the agreement was signed ``a while ago'' in Cairo. He says the deal was signed after the Arab League accepted amendments demanded by Syria.

An Arab League official in Cairo confirmed the deal was signed Monday bySyria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad.

The Arab League had given Syria until Wednesday to sign the deal. It had warned that if Damascus does not, the League says it will likely turn to the U.N. Security Council for action to try to end the Syrian regime's crackdown on a 9-month-old popular uprising.

Syria to sign Arab League's observer mission plan, says report

CAIRO, Dec. 18, 2011 (Xinhua) --

Syria is expected to sign the Arab protocol allowing in the Arab League's (AL) observer mission on Monday at the headquarters of the pan-Arab body in Cairo, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported Sunday, quoting an Iraqi official.

"An Arab League-proposed protocol on the Syrian crisis will be signed on Monday in Cairo," the report said, quoting Iraqi national security advisor Faleh al-Fayadh.

The Iraqi official said after talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr that Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al- Miqdad is likely to sign the protocol.

Fayadh came to Cairo to discuss the Syrian crisis, and met with AL chief Nabil al-Arabi and Amr on Sunday.

"The Iraqi delegation in Damascus held positive talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the Iraqi efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis," Fayadh told Iraqi TV before arriving in Cairo.

Wageh Hanafy, spokesperson for Arabi, told Xinhua by telephone that Fayadh talked with Arabi on Sunday. However, the spokesperson did not mention if Damascus will sign the deal or any possible date of signing.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Saturday that Syria "has positively dealt with all suggestions" presented to it, as the AL gave Damascus till Wednesday to allow in observers, otherwise the pan-Arab body will take the Arab proposal on Syria to the United Nations Security Council.

Editor: Chen Zhi

Syria not worried about AL observer mission: FM

DAMASCUS, Dec. 19, 2011 (Xinhua) --

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said Monday that the Syrian government was "absolutely not worried" about signing the Arab League (AL) observer mission deal and the Arab observers would see crimes committed by "armed terrorist groups" in Syria.

During a press conference held in Damascus to announce Syria's acceptance of the AL observer mission, Moallem said that many countries did not want to acknowledge the presence of armed terrorist groups in Syria, but the observers would see the groups along with their crimes.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad signed the AL observer mission deal Monday afternoon in Cairo on behalf of the Syrian government.

"We are absolutely not worried" about the observer mission deal, Moallem said, adding that the protocol would not have been signed had the amendments suggested by Syria not been agreed upon.

The proposed amendments mainly included that the observer mission should preserve Syria's national sovereignty and should be done with full coordination with the Syrian government.

Moallem said the observers would be allowed to visit hot areas but not sensitive military sites, stressing that attempts to internationalize the economic sanctions on Syria "will not happen. "

Coordination between the observer mission and the Syrian government would be through a national committee to be formed soon as the link between the two sides, he said.

Earlier this month, Syria said it would allow in the mission on conditions including lifting the economic sanctions recently imposed by the AL on Syria.

However, Moallem said Monday that Syria would no longer ask for lifting the sanctions. "If they think that their economic sanctions would affect the Syrian people, they are deluding themselves. We will not beg anyone," he said.

The protocol provided for implementing the first item of the Arab peace plan on the Syria crisis, Moallem said, "The signing of the protocol is the beginning of cooperation between Syria and the Arab League."

The foreign minister dismissed allegations that Syria was to be blamed for wasting time, stressing that Syria was keen to reach a solution.

"We are keen to work in the framework of the Arab League," he stressed.

"We will deal with seriousness, professionalism and objectiveness with the observer mission," he said, pledging that the observers would be protected by the Syrian government and have freedom in their moves.

He accused some Arab countries of attempting to internationalize the Syrian crisis. "What happened has unveiled the intentions of some Arabs," he said.

"Whoever wants the interests of the Syrian people does not impose economic sanctions on it (Syria) or work for internationalizing the crisis through the UN Security Council," he said.

Moallem also ruled out claims about a turnabout in the Russian stand, saying that "there is no change at all and coordination is still existing between us."

"We want to emerge from the crisis by building a modern and secure state that will be an example of democracy and pluralism," he said.


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