Sunday, February 12, 2012

Arab League backs Syria opposition, calls for peacekeepers

(Reuters) - The Arab League threw its support on Sunday firmly behind the opposition mounting an uprising against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and called for the U.N. Security Council to send peacekeepers to halt bloodshed.

A resolution approved by Arab League ministers meeting in Cairo called for "opening communication channels with the Syrian opposition and providing all forms of political and material support to it." It also urged the Syrian opposition to unite.

The resolution solidifies Assad's ostracism among his Arab neighbors and will add to diplomatic pressure on Russia and China, which vetoed U.N. action on Syria on February 4, to lift their objections and allow the world body to act.

It said violence against civilians in Syria had violated international law and that perpetrators deserved punishment. It scrapped an Arab League monitoring mission.

The resolution did not make clear whether the proposed joint U.N.-Arab peacekeeping force would involve armed troops, as in previous U.N. missions. Read More