Friday, September 16, 2011

Syria criticizes Arab League for meeting anti-Assad opposition figures

The Arab League backed away from its promise to allow the Syrian to resolve its internal affairs, an official Syrian protest letter said on Friday, following a reported meeting between Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi and Syrian opposition figures.

Following a meeting between al-Arabi and Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday, the Arab League chief called for stability in the protest-torn country, rejecting any form of foreign intervention in the Syrian crisis.

Al-Arabi also said the Arab League stood ready "to help Syria overcome the crisis" and assured his host that his organization would never take sides against Syria.

However, an official letter handed by Syria's envoy to the Arab League and published by Syria's official SANA news agency protested what it considered a-Arabi's backpedaling on his pledge to Assad following reports of a meeting with Syrian opposition figures.

In what SANA called a "strong formal protest memorandum," Syrian ambassador to the Arab League Yousef Ahmad accused the Arab League chief of violating "the AL Charter."

The letter stated that meeting opposition figures effectively contradicted efforts to end the crisis, adding that the [al-Arabi's] efforts for exaggerated media coverage of the events led us to conduct a formal inquiry into whether this means announcing submission to certain pressures and giving up your mission."

"What provoked our extreme concern is your statements on Wednesday September, 14, 2011 about sending committees to Syria which fully contradict your decision to abandon your report on your visit to Syria and your meeting with President Assad which provided for forming a high-level AL Secretariat General delegation to visit the Syrian governorates and know more about the reality of what is taking place with official guarantees for free transportation and providing protection for the delegation members," Ahmad added.

The Syrian AL envoy also expressed "strong dissatisfaction over leaking information about your meeting with President Bashar Assad on September 10th, 2011 in such sensitive time which damaged the confidence that was supposed to exist between the Syrian government and the AL Secretariat General."

He said that this proposal is incompatible with UN Security Council's presidential statement on August 3rd, 2011 which stressed that the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process


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