News / Middle East

Arab League Warns Syria Could Face Sanctions

Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani (C) talks to Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi (L) during a meeting for Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, to discuss the situation in Syria, November 24, 2011
Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani (C) talks to Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi (L) during a meeting for Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, to discuss the situation in Syria, November 24, 2011

Arab League foreign ministers have given Syria until Friday to sign an agreement allowing observers into the country.

League officials said Thursday representatives will meet again on Saturday to discuss sanctions if Damascus refuses to comply with their demand.

The regional group is considering further measures if Syria's government continues its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters.

Syrian demonstrators chant anti-Syria slogans outside a hotel in Cairo, where an Arab League meeting is held to discuss the situation in Syria, November 24, 2011
Syrian demonstrators chant anti-Syria slogans outside a hotel in Cairo, where an Arab League meeting is held to discuss the situation in Syria, November 24, 2011

The Arab League, angered that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad failed to fulfill a pledge to bring an end to the violence and pull Syrian forces out of major cities, suspended Syria's membership two weeks ago.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has suggested that the international community create what he called ""a humanitarian corridor" in Syria, sending in international monitors to ensure the safety of civilians.

Juppe said he would seek Arab League support for the measure and also discuss it with the United States and international partners at the United Nations.

The United Nations says at least 3,500 people have been killed in connection with the Syrian revolt since March. Syria blames much of the violence on foreign-backed terrorists and religious extremists.

Neighboring Israel's Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said Thursday the situation in Syria is "irreversible," adding that Assad seems to be approaching his end as Syria's leader.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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