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Syria asks Arab League meet over aid convoy

Damascus, May 31, 2010

Syria asked on Monday for an emergency Arab League meeting to discuss what it described as Israeli aggression on Gaza-bound international aid ships.

More than 10 people were killed on Monday when Israeli commandos intercepted the vessels, which included ships flying Turkish flags.

"Syria's representative to the Arab league has submitted a formal memo to the League requesting it to convene," the official Syrian news agency said.

The government organised demonstrations in several Syrian cities and officials gathered in front of the Turkish embassy in Damascus to show solidarity with Turkey, whose citizens were among those abroad the ships.

Syria separately issued a joint statement with Lebanon condemning "the savage Israeli attack on civilians" following a meeting between President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in Damascus.

Syria has sought to improve ties with Turkey in the last two years. It also hosts members of Hamas, an Islamist group that has ruled the Gaza strip since it won a brief civil war in the territory against supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction in 2007.

The Arab League, which is based in Cairo, has endorsed indirect peace talks between Abbas's Palestinian Authority and Israel that started last month. Syria opposed the talks but said it did not take action to block "Arab consensus". – Reuters




Tags: Syria | gaza | Israel | convoy | Damascus |

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