Arab League urges UN to send more observers to Syria
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi Thursday said he had asked United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to expedite the dispatching of observers to Syria to monitor the ceasefire, dpa reported.
"The UN is faltering on sending the observers to Syria," al-Arabi told the opening session of a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo. "Violence and killing have not stopped in Syria."
He proposed to Ban to send monitors from those already positioned in the Middle East.
Arab ministers were discussing the situation in Syria, two weeks after the UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect, according to sources at the pan-Arab bloc.
Al-Arabi said his organization would host a meeting with Syrian opposition groups on May 16. "Our efforts continue to unify the ranks of the (Syrian) opposition."
The meeting, headed by Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Khaled al-Sabah, was to assess Damascus' compliance with a peace plan proposed by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to end more than a year of bloodshed, Egyptian state-run Al Ahram newspaper reported.
The plan calls for release of detainees, access to humanitarian services and initiation of talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition.
According to Al Ahram, the foreign ministers would also discuss tensions between Sudan and South Sudan following recent fighting.
South Sudan split from Sudan in July after decades of civil war, but fighting over an oil field along the poorly defined border region has sparked concerns.
The two nations have yet to find a mechanism for sharing oil revenues and resolve other issues, including citizenship questions.