Arabs want Syria to halt bloodshed
BAGHDAD ARAB countries, divided over how to stop Syria’s bloodshed, plan to call for the Syrian regime to halt its crackdown on civilians, let in humanitarian groups and free detainees, according to recommendations on Wednesday by foreign ministers preparing for a summit this week.
Even before Arab heads of state began their Thursday summit in the Iraqi capital, Syria sharply rejected any measures they take. A Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdessi, said Damascus would “not deal with any initiative” that might come out of the 22-member Arab League.
The rejection reflected Damascus’ refusal to work with the League after the pan-Arab body suspended Syria’s membership as punishment for the bloody crackdown on protesters demanding the ouster of President Bashar al Assad. The UN says that over the past year, more than 9,000 people have been killed in the violence.