Syria expresses "regret" over Arab decision to halt observer mission
Syria expressed Saturday "regret and astonishment" over the Arab League (AL) decision to suspend its observer mission in Syria, Xinhua quoted state-run SANA news agency as reporting.
"It was clear that the observers' report that affirmed the existence of armed groups in Syria... wasn't satisfactory for some Arab countries," SANA quoted an unnamed official source as saying.
The source pointed out that the decision is aimed at imposing more pressure on the United Nations Security Council's meeting, which is due to convene on Tuesday, encouraging the armed groups to carry out with terrorism and calling for foreign intervention in Syria.
The source reaffirmed Syria's commitment to making the observer mission a success according to the signed protocol between the AL and Syria and to provide protection to the observers.
The AL decided Saturday to suspend its observer mission in Syria, citing the deteriorating situation in the unrest-torn country and the continuous use of violence.
Head of AL's monitoring operation room in Cairo, Adnan al- Khodair, told Xinhua that "The AL decided to temporarily suspend its observer mission in Syria to protect observers from increasing violence."
In a statement issued later, AL chief Nabil al-Arabi asked observers to immediately halt their operation in Syria until the AL ministerial council makes their decision.
Moustafa al-Dabi, head of the AL observer mission in Syria, said in a statement Friday that the wave of violence in Syria had dramatically escalated in recent days, especially in Homs, Idlib and Hama.
The status quo could not create appropriate conditions for achieving the AL ministerial council's decisions about pushing all parties to sit for negotiations, he added.
Damascus on Sunday rejected a new Arab initiative which urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power to his first vice president.
Syrian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Damascus accepted the AL's request of extending the observer mission in Syria for another month.
The AL observers are currently monitoring the situation in Syria as part of an AL peace initiative to end the months-long turmoil there.
The Syrian government has said that the turmoil in Syria is plotted by terrorists and foreign-backed armed gangs and more than 2,000 army and security personnel were killed during the months- long unrest.
The United Nations put the death toll in the country's unrest at more than 5,000.