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Tunisia, Egypt, Libya urge Arab solution to Syria crisis

Foreign ministers from Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt agree on a political resolution within an 'Arab framework' pertaining to the Syrian crisis and opposes calls by Syrian opposition for military intervention

AFP, Friday 16 Mar 2012
The Syrian Crisis
Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem speaks during a news conference after meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr and Libyan counterpart Ashour Bin Khayal in Tunis in Tunis March 16, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
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Foreign ministers from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, meeting in Tunis said Friday the Syrian crisis should be resolved in an "Arab framework" and opposed foreign military intervention in the country.

"We are all against military intervention in Syria, and we want the problem to be resolved in an Arab framework," Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem said after meeting with his Egyptian and Libyan counterparts, Mohamed Amr and Ashur bin Khayyal.

"The bloodbath in Syria must be stopped," he added as thousands of Syrians demonstrated Friday to demand "immediate military intervention" by Arab and Muslim countries to end the brutal crackdown that began more than a year ago.

The ministers whose countries toppled dictators in last year's Arab Spring also discussed security and judicial issues.

"The revolutions in our countries have brought us closer together," Abdessalem said, adding: "We need to share our experiences."

The three issued a joint statement pledging to step up the fight against terrorism, organised crime and drug trafficking.

They also agreed to greater judicial cooperation, notably concerning extradition requests for individuals "who represent a danger for the security and stability of our three countries."

Libya's former prime minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi has been held in Tunisia since last September, with President Moncef Marzouki seeking guarantees of a fair trial before authorising his extradition.

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