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Syria faces new Arab deadline

SYRIA: The Arab League yesterday awaited Syria’s response to a deadline to allow in observers to monitor the country’s unrest, a day after the pan-Arab body slapped sanctions on senior Syrian officials.

The new deadline came as 23 people were reported killed on Saturday across Syria, and after the UN Human Rights Council urged tougher action against Damascus, condemning its “gross violation” of human rights.

An Arab League ministerial committee slapped 19 top officials with a ban on travel to Arab states in addition to setting the deadline to accept observers.

“During the meeting we contacted Damascus... and we asked them to come tomorrow (Sunday, to Doha) to sign” the protocol on sending observers, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said, announcing the deadline.

“We are waiting for a reply,” he added. “As Arabs we fear that if the situation continues things will get out of Arab control.”

Sheikh Hamad was speaking after a meeting to discuss Arab League sanctions against Damascus over its bloody crackdown on more than eight months of anti-regime protests.

AFP

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