Syria signs Arab plan, welcomes monitors
Beirut, December 19, 2011
Syria signed an Arab League peace plan to end nine months of bloodshed after the Arab organisation agreed to unspecified Syrian amendments to the initiative, Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem said on Monday.
Al-Moualem said Syria would welcome monitors from the Arab League under the agreement, which also calls for the withdrawal of troops from urban centres and the release of political prisoners.
'The signature of the protocol is the beginning of cooperation between us and the Arab League and we will welcome monitors from the Arab League,' he told a televised news conference in Damascus.
Syria signed up to the deal after Russia advised it to ratify the plan, Al-Moualem said. 'They advised us to sign the protocol and we followed their advice,' he told a televised news conference.
Moscow, a long-time ally of Damascus, stepped up its criticism of President Bashar Al-Assad's crackdown on protests in a draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council last week. - Reuters