Syria slams US, France and Arab League in meeting today

Dina Ezzat , Saturday 12 Nov 2011

Syria's permanent representative to the Arab League said his government is trying to end the crisis while the Arab League turns a blind eye to Western incitement for more bloodshed

The permanent representative of Sryia to the Arab League, Youssef Ahmed, today accused the US and France of inciting violence in his country at a time where the Syrian government is trying to end the political crisis there.

Addressing an extra-ordinary meeting of the Arab foreign ministers on Syria this afternoon at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab organisation, Ahmed also criticised Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Arabi for "keeping silent on this incitement."

El-Arabi, who co-chaired the ministerial meeting with the current chair of the council, Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamed Ben Jassim, was also subject to Ahmed's criticism for not reacting when the foreign-based Syrian opposition did not reciprocate "the commitment of the Syrian government to implement the Arab working plan," that was adopted two weeks ago to end the violence in Syria.

Unlike the Syria-based opposition, the foreign-based Syrian National Transitional Council opposition has declined the Arab working plan on the basis that it does not aim to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad but to extend his stay in power.

"For us this regime is expired and we are currently trying to get the Arab countries, as well as other countries, to recoginise the transitional council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, which is being coerced by the Assad regime," said the Paris-based Bassma Qaddamani.

Meanwhile, a Syrian diplomat who is taking part in the Arab League meeting today told Ahram Online that the Syrian regime is willing to start an encompassing, national dialogue in Damascus and to allow the participation of the foreign-based opposition "with presidential guarantees for their security."

He added that Syria will not agree to have the national dialogue, which is part of the Arab working plan that also includes an immediate end to violence, at the Arab League. "It is a matter of sovereignty," he stated.

Two weeks ago the Arab League had asked the Syrian government to end the deployment of the armed forces against the demonstrators, to release political prisoners and to pursue national dialogue as part of the working plan.

Ahmed told the Arab foreign ministers today that his government has been honouring all these commitments and is willing to continue to do so "unlike others who are pursuing foreign intervention."

The Arab League announced on Saturday Syria's suspension until President Bashar al-Assad's regime implements an Arab deal to end violence against protesters.

The Arab league also called for sanctions against Syria, transition talks with the opposition and demanded the withdrawal of Arab ambassadors from Damascus.

Short link: