Syria rejects Arab League statement as Turkey says it has lost trust in Damascus
Syria on Sunday rejected an Arab League statement demanding an end to the bloodshed in the country as the organization's chief waited for a green light to travel to Damascus and as Turkish President Abdullah Gul said he has lost confidence in Syria, Al Arabiya reported.
In a diplomatic note to the organization's secretariat seen by AFP, Syria said the statement amounted to "a clear violation ... of the principles of the Arab League charter and of the foundations of joint Arab action."
The Syrian delegation protested that the declaration was issued "despite the meeting having closed with an agreement that no statement would be published or statement made to the press," according to AFP.
The statement contained "unacceptable and biased language," the note said, adding Damascus would act as if it had never been published.
The Arab League announced a peace initiative aimed at solving the crisis in Syria, where more than 2,000 people have been killed in anti-regime protests, to be delivered in person by its secretary general, Nabil al-Arabi.
The 22-member organization's foreign ministers at a meeting on Saturday night called in the statement for an "end to the spilling of blood and for Syria to follow the way of reason before it is too late."
They expressed their "concern faced with the grave developments on the Syrian scene which have claimed thousands of victims and wounded."
The foreign ministers also called for respecting "the right of the Syrian people to live in security and of their legitimate aspirations for political and social reforms."
Arabi said on Sunday that he was awaiting a Syrian invitation to travel to Damascus. "I'm waiting for the response of Syria's government," he told journalists in the Egyptian capital, adding he was ready to leave immediately.