- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Arab League seeks U.N. monitor
Syria rejects call to put joint peacekeeping force on its soil
Question of the Day
CAIRO — The Arab League called Sunday for the U.N. Security Council to create a joint peacekeeping force for Syria, the latest effort by the regional group to end the 11-month-old crisis that has killed more than 5,000 people.
The new effort was spelled out in a resolution adopted by league foreign ministers meeting in Cairo. Syria immediately rejected the idea.
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal conveyed the league’s deep frustration with Syria by telling delegates at the start of the meeting that it was no longer appropriate for the 22-member group to stand by and watch the bloodshed in Syria.
“Until when will we remain spectators?” he said. “It is a disgrace for us as Muslims and Arabs to accept” the bloodshed in Syria, he said.
Syrian Ambassador to the Arab League and to Egypt, Ahmed Youssef, was quoted as saying that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were “living in a state of hysteria after their last failure at the U.N. Security Council to call for outside interference in Syria’s affairs and to impose sanctions on the Syrian people.”
The group put forward a plan that President Bashar Assad agreed to in December, then sent in monitors to check whether the Syrian regime was complying. The league withdrew its observers last month, after Mr. Assad’s regime flouted the terms of the agreement and the killing continued.
“The time has come for a decisive action to stop the bloodshed suffered by the Syrian people since the start of last year,” Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby told the Arab foreign ministers.
“We must move quickly in all directions to end or break the ongoing cycle of violence in Syria.”
The league called for the U.N. Security Council to adopt its own resolution that provides for an immediate cease-fire in Syria, the protection of civilians and a humanitarian effort for victims of the violence. It demanded that the regime lift its siege on neighborhoods and villages and pull troops and heavy weapons back to their barracks.
It urged Syrian opposition groups to unite ahead of a Feb. 24 meeting in Tunisia of the Friends of Syria group, which includes the United States, its European allies and Arab nations working to end the uprising against Mr. Assad’s authoritarian rule.
That resolution also would have demanded that he halt the crackdown on dissent and implement the Arab League peace plan that calls for him to hand over power to his vice president and allow creation of a unity government to clear the way for elections.
Mr. Elaraby said at the Cairo meeting that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wrote him a letter Saturday that conveyed what he called a partial change in Moscow’s stand on the Syrian crisis. He quoted Mr. Lavrov as saying Russia would agree to a joint U.N.-Arab League peacekeeping force.
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world