Pressure mounts as Syria misses observer deadline

The 22-nation Arab League had given Syria 24 hours to agree to the observer mission.

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2011, 00:21 AM IST

Beirut: A senior Arab League diplomat says Syria has ignored a deadline to allow an observer mission into the country or face economic sanctions.

The diplomat says the Friday afternoon deadline passed with no word from Damascus. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The 22-nation bloc had given Syria 24 hours to agree to the observer mission, saying it would meet to decide on punishing measures that could include a freeze on financial dealings and assets if the deadline was missed.

Syria is the scene of the deadliest crackdown against the Arab Spring`s eruption of protests and international pressure has been mounting on President Bashar Assad to stop the bloodshed.

Earlier in the day, Turkey`s Foreign Minister said Syria faces a test of goodwill over Arab League demand to allow an observer mission.

Syria has already slammed the Arab League`s ultimatum to agree by Friday to allow an observer mission into the country or face sanctions.

Davutoglu said the patience of Turkey and Arab countries is "running out over the bloodshed in Syria”.

He spoke during a joint news conference with Italy`s new Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in Istanbul. Terzi described the situation in Syria as a "worrying tragedy”.

Bureau Report