News / Middle East

Arab League Ministers Discuss Ways to Boost Syria Observer Mission

Arab League monitors check Al-Sabil area, in Daraa, Syria, January 3, 2012.
Arab League monitors check Al-Sabil area, in Daraa, Syria, January 3, 2012.

Arab League foreign ministers have met in Cairo to discuss ways of strengthening an Arab delegation trying to monitor the Syrian government's deadly crackdown on a 10-month opposition uprising.

Diplomats say the Arab foreign ministers who met Sunday in the Egyptian capital were considering whether to ask the United Nations to provide technicians and trainers to help the Arab League observer team in Syria.

Syrian opposition activists and rights groups have criticized the observers, saying their presence in Syria has failed to secure any easing of the crackdown by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Some critics have called on the League to withdraw the observers, who began their mission on December 26.

Arab League officials said pulling out the monitors was not on the agenda of the Cairo meeting, chaired by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, who also serves as foreign minister. The Arab ministers were due to receive an initial report on the observer team's progress from its Sudanese chief, General Mohamed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi.

More than 50 opponents of President Assad rallied outside the Cairo hotel where the Arab ministers met, chanting anti-Assad slogans. They want an end to his 11-year autocratic rule.

The United Nations says violence related to Mr. Assad's suppression of the rebellion has killed at least 5,000 people. Damascus accuses armed terrorists of driving the revolt and killing 2,000 security personnel.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says army defectors who joined the uprising killed 11 pro-Assad troops and wounded 20 others on Sunday, during a battle in the southern province of Daraa. The British-based rights group also says one civilian was killed in a raid by Syrian security forces in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour.

There was no independent confirmation of the casualties because Syria bars most foreign journalists from operating freely in the country.

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

 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid