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Syria Misses Arab League Deadline


A Syrian antiregime protester faces riot police at Khalidia, near Homs.

A Syrian antiregime protester faces riot police at Khalidia, near Homs.

The Arab League says Damascus has missed a deadline it imposed on Syria to allow observers into the country.

The Arab League has previously said that if Damascus refuses to let in its observers by November 25, the league will meet on November 26 to discuss possible sanctions, including a trade ban with Syria.

The monitors are meant to assess the extent of Syria's cooperation with an Arab League peace plan intended to end violence against the country's citizens.

Syria has condemned the Arab League ultimatum.

Syria's state-run SANA news agency said that the Arab League "has become a tool for foreign interference" and that the 22-nation group is serving a Western agenda to stir up trouble in the region.

Meanwhile, Syria's neighbor, Turkey, says it is ready to act in unison with the Arab League if Syria fails to show good intentions to end the bloody eight-month-old crackdown on civil unrest.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a joint news conference in Istanbul with his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi that he is ready to attend the meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, that could take place on November 26 and that he is continuing consultations with the European Union, NATO and U.N. Security Council members

Elsewhere, Russia said on November 25 that it opposes sanctions or international intervention and that Syria needs "internal dialogue" instead.

The Russian statement comes after France this week called for "humanitarian corridors" in Syria to alleviate civilian suffering.

The United Nations says months of violence in Syria have left at least 3,500 people dead amid protests demanding an end to President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

compiled from agency reports
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