| 07.11,11. 02:50 AM |
Arabs Say Syria Not Honoring Roadmap
Arab foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss Syria's failure to implement an Arab proposal to end a crackdown on protests, the Arab League said on Sunday.
A League statement said the Cairo meeting was called because of "the continuation of violence and because the Syrian government did not implement its commitments in the Arab plan to resolve the Syrian crisis."
A foreign ministers task force which negotiated the deal that Syria signed on to last Wednesday will hold a preparatory meeting on Friday, the statement said.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed Sunday that “the Syrian people’s defiance in the face of sedition, terrorism and foreign intervention” was the basis of “Syria’s steadfastness against the conspiracies,” state-run news agency SANA quoted him as saying.
“Syria is strong through its people, national choices and free decision and it is keen on fully restoring its national rights,” SANA quoted Assad as telling “clan seniors and political, economic and social figures at al-Raqqa Governorate building after performing the Eid al-Adha prayer” at al-Nour mosque in the northern town.
“We have no choice but to win any battle that may target our sovereignty and national decision,” Assad pledged, as quoted by SANA.
The announcements came as a Britain-based Syrian rights group said security forces killed another 11 civilians during anti-regime protests on Sunday, the first day of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha.
Nine of the civilians were killed in Homs, the flashpoint central city where protests against Assad's rule were held in most districts despite a weeks-long military crackdown.
Most of the deaths occurred in the Baba Amro neighborhood of Homs, where clashes have raged for days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement received by Agence France Presse.
The latest deaths bring to at least 60 the number of people killed since Assad's government signed on to the Arab League peace plan on November 2.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Saturday warned that that the failure of the peace deal -- which calls on President Bashar al-Assad to begin talks with opposition and end violence against protesters -- would be "catastrophic" for Syria and the region.
His deputy, Ahmed Ben Hilli, told AFP that Assad was given two weeks to start the talks but his regime should have ended the violence on November 2, when Syria agreed the proposal.
Several countries in the 22-member organization have been pushing for a freeze of Syria's membership, as the Arab League had done to Libya in February after its former regime cracked down on protests.
But the Arab League has ruled out support for foreign intervention, which it backed in Libya's case with its call for a no fly zone.