Syria rejected the move of Arab League to create a joint peacekeeping force through the United Nations, which was spelled out in a resolution adopted Sunday by the League’s foreign ministers meeting in Cairo.
Syria’s state news agency said the regime rejected the Arab League decisions, which were taken without a Syrian representative present. Syria’s ambassador to the Arab League, Ahmed Youssef, was quoted as saying that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were “living in a state of hysteria after their last failure at the U.N. Security Council to call for outside interference in Syria’s affairs and to impose sanctions on the Syrian people.”
The Arab League has been at the forefront of regional efforts to end 11 months of bloodshed in Syria. The group put forward a plan that Assad agreed to in December, then sent in monitors to check whether he was complying. When it became clear that Assad’s regime was flouting the terms of the agreement and the killings were continuing, the League pulled out the observers last month.
It urged Syrian opposition groups to unite ahead of a Feb. 24 meeting in Tunisia of the “Friends of Syria” group, which includes the United States, its European allies and Arab nations working to end the uprising against Assad’s authoritarian rule.