Syria ignores Arab deadline, faces new sanctions

The Arab League ministerial committee gave Damascus until today to allow an observer mission into the country and thereby avoid further sanctions.

Last Updated: Dec 05, 2011, 00:16 AM IST

Damascus: Syria faced new sanctions after
flouting an Arab League deadline on Sunday to accept observers to
monitor the unrest sweeping the country, which the UN says has
killed more than 4,000 people.

A senior Qatari official said Damascus had asked for "new
clarifications and further amendments to be made to the
protocol which was proposed" to cover the deployment of the
observer mission.

But the Arab ministers had "refused."

The Qatari official said, however, that if Syrian
officials "still want to sign, they can come tomorrow to
Cairo."

The Arab League ministerial committee yesterday gave
Damascus until today to allow an observer mission into the
country and thereby avoid further sanctions.

The meeting in Doha listed 19 Syrian officials it said
would be banned from travel to Arab countries and whose assets
would be frozen by those states.

The panel also called for an embargo on the sale of Arab
arms to Syria and cut by half the number of Arab flights into
and out of Syria with effect from December 15.

The national carrier Syrian Air will be affected by the
flight reductions, while among the 19 officials banned from
travel to Arab countries are the defence and interior
ministers and other top intelligence officials.

President Bashar al-Assad`s brother, General Maher
al-Assad, who heads the feared Fourth Armoured Division, and
his cousin Rami Makhluf, a telecommunications tycoon, are also
among those banned from travel.

PTI