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Arab League may turn to UN Security Council over Syria violence

The Arab League has threatened to turn to the UN Security Council to  pressure Syria to accept its peace plan. The league has set a Wednesday deadline for Syria to act. 

By Correspondent / December 18, 2011

Qatari Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani speaks during a news conference at the end of an Arab League ministerial committee meeting to discuss the Syrian unrest in Doha, Saturday.

Reuters

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Facing weeks of delay and inaction from the Syrian government, the Arab League has now threatened to ask the United Nations Security Council to enforce its peace plan if Syria does not agree to implement it by Wednesday.

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The escalation comes after the Arab League has already suspended Syria’s membership and imposed sanctions. While Syrian officials at one point said they would consider the plan if the Arab League lifted sanctions, the league responded that this was not an option.

“There is no hope to find an exit from this crisis. We have used all possible means, (but) it is clear that there is procrastination,” said Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani, speaking about Syria in an article by Iran’s Press TV.

Shortly before the Arab League’s threat, Russia sent a draft resolution to the UN calling for the international organization to take action to end violence and political unrest in Syria. The proposal did not call for sanctions, and Bloomberg reports that the US and France have criticized Russia’s proposal as too sympathetic to President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“We don’t see any alternative to a political-diplomatic resolution of the crisis in the country. Any foreign interference, given Syria’s role in regional security, can destabilize the situation throughout the Middle East. We are counting on a constructive attitude from other Security Council members,” said Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.

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