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Arab League chief meets al-Assad over Syrian unrest

Arab World Materials 10 September 2011 16:48 (UTC +04:00)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met on Saturday with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, who travelled to Damascus on behalf of the pan-Arab body to help find a solution to Syria's unrest.
Arab League chief meets al-Assad over Syrian unrest

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met on Saturday with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, who travelled to Damascus on behalf of the pan-Arab body to help find a solution to Syria's unrest, DPA reported.

Official sources said the talks discussed the current situation in Syria as well as regional and international developments concerning Damascus.

A Syrian source in Lebanon told the German Press Agency dpa that "the Syrians have accepted the envoy's visit but they will not accept any condition imposed on them by anyone, even the Arab League."

"This is an internal matter and the Syrian government is the only one qualified to deal and stop the armed gangs from killing the Syrian people," he said.

Sarkis Naoum, an analyst at the daily an Nahar, doubted that al-Arabi would achieve any progress during his meetings.

Al-Arabi's mission came three days later than originally planned, and he was set to bring with him a 13-point document outlining Arab proposals to end the crisis and begin a reform process in the violence-wracked Syria.

The demands include ending bloodshed, introducing political pluralism and holding free elections in 2014 - after al-Assad's term ends, reports said.

Protests calling for political reforms began in mid-March and developed into calls for the ouster of al-Assad.

The United Nations has estimated that more than 2,200 civilians have been killed in the government's violent crackdown.

At least 12 people were killed on Saturday alone as troops attacked parts of the central province of Homs, broadcaster Al Arabiya reported.

Army forces shelled the Baba Amr area in Homs, the Syrian Revolution online group reported, adding that some bodies were taken away by pro-government thugs.

Activists said that the shelling comes as some soldiers defected in that area earlier Saturday.

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