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16 Nov, 2011 16:00

Syria’s suspension from Arab League confirmed

The foreign ministers of the Arab League, consisting of 22 members, have confirmed the suspension of Syria from the group, blaming it for the violent suppression of anti-government rallies.

The League of Arab Nations (LAN) has given Damascus just three days to sign a memorandum for observers to be dispatched. Meanwhile, pro-government Syrians, furious with the LAN’s decision to suspend their country’s membership, have been on a rampage over the last 4 days, attacking various diplomatic missions of the bloc's member states. Qatar, UAE and Morocco embassies are the latest victims of violence, with several sources on the ground saying the buildings are on fire. Several ambassadors have been recalled – the latest being France; and diplomats’ families have also been evacuated from the crisis-torn Middle Eastern country. Turkey and the Arab states have called on President Bashar al-Assad to end the violence and resolve the ongoing crisis in a diplomatic manner. LAN’s secretary general has once again stated that “everything necessary must be done to end the bloodshed” – and that no outside intervention will prove a solution to the problem.Beirut-based researcher Sara Marusek told RT than the Arab League needs to put pressure not only on the Syrian President, but on all sides of the conflict – and the focus should be on deescalating the violence at all costs. “Right now, the opposition isn’t considering the fact that democracy means they have to establish a dialogue with all the people – including those who support President Assad”, Marusek told RT. The Syracuse University researcher also said that the sanctions currently on place against Damascus are “very destructive”. Marusek told RT that “the sanctions may be a way for the powerful western countries to exert some sort of pressure over the Syrian government – but really, the people are the ones who suffer, by not being able to have medicines, by not having certain technologies that may be required to save lives – and so, of course, the Syrian people are going to be the ones that are going to suffer.” She added that in her opinion, sanctions in this scenario are not going to be effective – just as they weren’t against Iraq or Iran.

Beirut-based political advisor Ali Hamdan believes that suspending Syria from the Arab League is illegal.“The Syrians have accepted the Arab League initiative. Then suddenly we found out that the Arab League has carried out recently an illegal decision, trying to suspend Syria from the League. That is against the organization’s charter and convention,” Hamdan says.In his view, it is clear now that this is not a demand for reforms. “It is targeting Syria, which is very dangerous and risky for the whole region,” Hamdan notes.“All the Lebanese are seriously afraid of the situation and of the Arab League’s approach. That could result in a catastrophe for the region,” the analyst added.