Arab League chief begins tour to discuss situation in Syria

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby embarked on a tour of Arab countries on Wednesday, starting in Beirut, Lebanon, where he will discuss the situation in Syria.

The tour will also include Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq, which Araby will be visiting for the first time as head of the league, Arab diplomatic sources said.

Araby will discuss possible solutions to the Syrian crisis as well as unrest in other Arab countries that have experienced uprisings.

The sources added that Syrian diplomats left Cairo Wednesday after discussing the country's new conditions for accepting international monitors. The league has repeatedly extended deadlines for Damascus to agree to a peace plan that will allow Arab monitors to oversee the withdrawal of Syrian military forces from towns.

In Rabat, Morocco, on 16 November, Arab foreign ministers agreed to dispatch Arab monitors to Syria to assess the situation, but Damascus objected.

The league says the protocol is essential to create a legal framework for the monitors, who will have to work closely with the Syrian government. The US, Europe and more recently Turkey have all imposed sanctions on Syria as a result of President Bashar al-Assad's violent crackdown on protesters. The Arab League has also announced sanctions but has not yet imposed them.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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