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Egypt foreign minister explains govt decision to keep ambassador in Damascus

Egypt’s decision aims to encourage dialogue and prevent foreign intervention in Syria, says Mohamed Kamel Amr

MENA, Tuesday 15 Nov 2011
Mohamed Kamel Amr
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr
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In a statement released on Tuesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said the continued presence of Egypt’s ambassador in Syria “would allow for an of exchange points of view, contribute to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis, and prevent foreign intervention [in resolving the issue].”

The statement was released to explain Egypt’s decision to keep its ambassador in Damascus despite the Arab League’s recommendation on Saturday that league members withdraw their ambassadors after the country violated the terms of the league’s initiative signed in late October to end the ongoing violence.

Amr went on to say that the first working paper presented to the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers on Saturday to resolve the crisis contained “phrases whose interpretation would open the door to foreign interference or intervention by the UN Security Council, but Egypt and Algeria were able to omit these phrases and replace them with substantial amendments.”

The final draft of the paper was eventually approved by 18 Arab countries and voted against by Lebanon and Yemen, with an abstention from Iraq. The recommendation reiterated the 16 November deadline given by the league for the Syrian government to resolve the crisis, which was approved by the Syria during the league summit.

Amr also stressed the importance of a Syrian–Arabic framework to resolve the crisis without foreign interference, "in order to put an end to the violence and bloodshed.”

Amr explained that the league’s decision on Saturday was not a suspension of Syria’s membership of the league, but only a suspension of Syrian government delegations from any league meetings, and its ancillary organisations and agencies.

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