Syria accepts Arab League peace plan to end bloody crackdown on civilians
Syria has fully accepted an Arab League plan to end nearly eight months of bloodshed and withdraw its military presence from cities, during a ministerial meeting at the organization’s Cairo headquarters, a League official said.
“The Syrian delegation accepted the Arab League plan without reservations and in its entirety,” the official said.
“The Arab League welcomes the Syrian government’s agreement to the Arab plan,” the statement said, adding that it “emphasized the need for the immediate, full and exact implementation of the articles in the plan.”
“The Arab committee (overseeing the plan) is responsible for submitting periodic reports to the ministerial council of the Arab League on the progress of carrying out the plan,” it said.
But the White House on Wednesday reiterated its call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, despite the Arab League announcement that Damascus had accepted its plan.
“Our position remains that President Assad has lost his legitimacy to rule and should step down,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “We support all international efforts that are aimed toward convincing the regime to stop attacking its own people.”
The peace plan agreed to by Syria provides for a “complete halt to the violence to protect civilians,” AFP reported.
It also calls for the “release of people detained as a result of the recent events, the withdrawal of forces from towns and districts where there have been armed clashes, and the granting of access to the Arab League, and Arab and international media.”