Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - Page 6 News List

Arab League announces peace initiative

AFP, DAMASCUS

Foreign ministers and representatives of foreign ministries in the Arab world attend an Arab League meeting at its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

The Arab League announced early yesterday a peace initiative to resolve the crisis in Syria as more people were killed by government forces and activists called for prayers for the “martyrs.”

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi would head to Damascus bearing “an initiative to solve the crisis” in Syria, a statement said yesterday after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.

It was not clear when Arabi would visit Syria, but Russia also announced it was sending a top envoy to the Syrian capital today, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

The unrelenting violence and bloodshed prompted Arab League foreign ministers to meet late on Saturday to discuss the ongoing situation in Syria.

The ministers “asked the -secretary-general of the Arab League to carry out an urgent mission to Damascus and transmit the Arab initiative to resolve the crisis to the Syrian leadership,” a statement said.

The ministers also called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria “before it is too late” and for the Syrian government to “respect the right of the Syrian people to live in security and respect their legitimate aspirations for political and social reforms.”

Russia also planned an initiative.

“A very important envoy from Moscow” will visit Damascus today, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass.

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