Syria accuses US of interfering in Arab affairs | Pakistan Today

Syria accuses US of interfering in Arab affairs

Syria accused the United States on Wednesday of interfering in Arab League affairs, as a US envoy travelled to Cairo for talks with the bloc about ending the Damascus regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent.
Meanwhile, democracy activists have denounced the 22-member Arab bloc over the “unprofessionalism” of a team of peace observers whose presence in Syria has failed to stem the bloodshed.
“The United States is one of the parties which is seeking to rekindle violence by its mobilisation and incitement (to violence),” foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi said in a statement.
“The US … statements are a gross interference in the work of the Arab League and an unjustified attempt to internationalise” the issue of Syria, he said. Arab League observers have been in Syria since last week trying to assess the regime’s implementation of a peace agreement aimed at ending violence in the country.
The US State Department said on Tuesday that Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, would travel to Cairo for consultations with the Arab League about Syria. Feltman is due to arrive in the Egyptian capital later on Wednesday and is scheduled to hold discussions with the Arab League on Thursday. His trip was announced as the White House said it is “past time” for the UN Security Council to act, as “sniper fire, torture and murder” were continuing in Syria and the Arab League conditions for the regime have been dishonoured.
“We want to see the international community stand together united in support of the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. Despite the presence of the monitors, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi has acknowledged that “there are still snipers” in Syria, but defended the mission for securing prisoner releases and removing tanks from the streets.
The United Nations estimated last month that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government’s crackdown on dissent since March. There were no signs of the violence abating on Wednesday, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting that three more civilians were killed. In a statement sent to AFP in Nicosia, the Britain-based group said two civilians died and four were wounded in the besieged central city of Homs by gunfire from a car likely belonging to the regime.
Another civilian was killed in the city of Hama, to the north of Homs, where Arab League monitors were sent. Hundreds of regime supporters were already gathering on the same square carrying Syrian flags and chanting slogans in support of President Bashar al-Assad, an AFP correspondent reported.
Making matters worse, Syria’s opposition was in disarray and struggling to present a united front despite repeated calls by Western governments for them to put aside differences and join forces in their bid to oust Assad. A pact agreed on Friday by two of Syria’s main opposition factions — the Syrian National Council (SNC) and National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB) — now appears to be in tatters.
The political agreement signed in Cairo had outlined a “transitional period” should Assad’s regime be toppled by the pro-democracy uprising. However, in a Facebook posting, the Syrian National Council said late Tuesday the “document conflicts with the SNC’s political programme and with the demands of the Syrian revolution.”

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