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Arab League rejects Syrian changes to peace plan

The Arab League has said that the Syrian government has changed the peace plan and altered its essence.

The Arab League foreign ministers meet in Rabat, Morocco earlier this week
The Arab League foreign ministers meet in Rabat, Morocco earlier this week
Image: AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar

THE ARAB LEAGUE says it has rejected amendments proposed by Syria to a peace plan to end the crisis in the country, saying the changes put forward by Damascus alter the “essence” of the plan.

A statement issued today by the Cairo-based organization says the league told the Syrian government that its proposals were also unacceptable because they introduce “drastic changes” to the mandate of an observers’ mission the league wants to dispatch to Syria to ensure the implementation of the peace plan.

This week Syria agreed “in principle” to allow an observer mission into the country, and the Arab League issued a deadline for an end to the government crackdown, which has come and gone.

President Bashar Assad’s regime has cracked down on an 8-month-old uprising against his rule and the league’s plan provides for the withdrawal of the government’s tanks from the streets, the release of political prisoners and a halt to attacks on civilians.

It’s been reported that a major building belonging to the ruling Baath party in the capital Damascus was hit by rocket-propelled grenades last night. At least 14 people were killed yesterday in Syria, while 3,500 people are thought to have died since March.

- Additional reporting by AP

Syrian ruling party building hit be grenades in capital Damascus

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Emer McLysaght

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