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Syria Agrees To Extend Observer Mission One Month

Syrian soldiers man a checkpoint in the city of Homs
Syria's state news agency, Sana, reports Damascus has agreed to extend by one month the mandate of the Arab League observer mission there.

SANA reports Foreign Minister Walid Muallem sent a letter on January 24 to the secretary-general of the Arab League informing him of the decision to extend the mandate to February 23.

RFE/RL's correspondent in New York reports that the United Nations has confirmed receipt of the letter from the Arab League, which apparently gives details of the organization's latest plan for a political solution in Syria and requests UN support for this initiative.

The U.K. mission released a statement on January 24 which said Council members were continuing consultations that had been held the previous day to discuss the timing of a briefing from the Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani -- who jointly sent the letter -- as well as their response to the Arab League's request for support.

The letter asks for a "joint meeting between them in the UN headquarters to inform the Security Council about developments and [to] obtain the support of the Council for this plan," according to an Arab League statement.

Gulf Arab states announced on January 24 they plan to withdraw from the Arab League observer mission.

compiled from agency reports