News / Middle East

Syria Agrees to Arab League Plan to End Crackdown

A handout photograph from Syria's national news agency shows Syria's delegation headed by FM Walid Moualem (C), Bouthaina Shaaban (behind Moualem), a political advisor to President Bashar al-Assad, and ambassador to the Arab League Yousef al-Ahmed (L) aft
A handout photograph from Syria's national news agency shows Syria's delegation headed by FM Walid Moualem (C), Bouthaina Shaaban (behind Moualem), a political advisor to President Bashar al-Assad, and ambassador to the Arab League Yousef al-Ahmed (L) aft

Syria says it has reached agreement with the Arab League on a plan to end its deadly crackdown against an anti-government uprising and begin a dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition.

Syria's state-run news agency said an official announcement would be delivered Wednesday at Arab League headquarters in Cairo. No other details were available.

Arab diplomats said their plan calls for the Syrian government to withdraw security forces from the streets, stop violence by pro-government forces against civilians and begin talks with the Syrian opposition in Cairo.

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted diplomatic sources as saying Syria objected to meeting opposition leaders in Cairo and insisted on holding such talks in Damascus.

A Lebanese official with close ties to the Syrian government told Reuters authorities in Damascus had put forward their own proposals to the Arab League. He said Syria wants the opposition to "drop weapons, the Arab states to stop funding anti-government forces and an end to the media campaign against Syria."

In Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for the Syrian opposition. Turkey's Today's Zaman said Mr. Erdogan told a Parliament meeting that he believes "the Syrian people will be successful in their glorious resistance."

The 22-member Arab League sharpened its criticism of Syria after rights activists said Syrian security forces shot and killed dozens of anti-government protesters on Friday.

Also Tuesday, a Syrian official told the Associated Press that Syrian troops were laying land mines along parts of the border with Lebanon. The official said the mines are intended to stop weapons smuggling into the country during the uprising.

But observers say the mining shows Mr. Assad is taking every measure to choke off opposition to his 11-year rule. They say it is also a warning to neighbors not to interfere in the Syrian conflict.

The United Nations says the number of people killed in the seven-month-old uprising has surpassed 3,000. The Syrian government says terrorists have killed hundreds of security personnel during that period.

Many Syrian protesters have been calling for Western powers to impose a Libya-style no-fly zone over Syria. But, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday the alliance has no intention of taking military action in Syria.

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

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid