Syria responds "positively" to AL protocol, proposes minor amendments   2011-12-05 18:27:37 FeedbackPrintRSS

DAMASCUS, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Syria has responded positively to the Arab League (AL) protocol on an observer mission, but proposed "minor amendments" to the plan, a foreign ministry spokesman said Monday.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem sent a message to the AL chief Nabil el-Arabi late Sunday, proposing some minor amendments that would not affect the protocol's essence, spokesman Jihad Makdessi told reporters at a press conference, adding that Damascus was waiting for the response from the AL.

"Damascus has responded positively to the AL plan," he added.

According to Makdessi, the minor amendments included that the protocol should be signed in Damascus, and that all the decisions and sanctions taken against Syria should be considered "null and void once the two sides signed the protocol."

Syria also demanded AL to make coordination with the Syrian side and handle the crisis in an objective and neutral way, the spokesman said.

"We believe that the road has become paved before an immediate signing... and we also believe that all that submitted by Syria aims primarily to facilitate the mission of the AL and make it a success, in order to preserve an Arab solution inside the Arabs' house," he said.

Syria is keen to make the Arab plan a success as long as it aims to help Syria rather than to further aggravate the situation, Makdessi said, adding that the minor amendments had nothing to do with the nature of the observer mission, but were rather " absolutely procedural and logistical measures."

"Making the mission a success is primarily linked to the Arabs' intentions," and Syria is "optimistic" and works to prevent the internationalization of the Syrian crisis, he said.

If the AL accepted the amendments, there would be a high-level coordination to make the mission a success, he said, adding that observers could move freely but with the coordination of the Syrian side.

Syria has missed a second deadline on Sunday set by the AL to sign the observer mission protocol, 10 days after it failed to meet the Nov. 25 deadline to allow in the observers.

The AL approved a new set of economic sanctions against Syria on Nov. 27. The sanctions included cutting off transactions with the Syrian central bank, halting funding for projects in Syria and freezing the Syrian government's assets.

The AL has also suspended Syria's membership in the organization.

Figures from the United Nations showed that about 4,000 people have died in Syria's nine months of unrest. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday adopted a new resolution condemning the Syrian authorities for human rights violations during the unrest.

Syria said the UNHRC resolution was "outrageous" and politicized by parties that aimed to incite terrorism acts and prolong the crisis in the country.


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During the practice held Sunday evening, "the missile forces performed the project with accuracy and achieved distinctive results," the paper said, adding that the missile forces' performance showed its high spirits and ability to defend the homeland. Full story

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DAMASCUS, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Syria blames its months-long unrest and snowballing pressure on countries that are unpleasant with its stands supportive of some resistance groups in the Middle East, groups considered by these countries as "terrorists".

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Editor: Yamei Wang
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