Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Syrian state media: agreement reached with Arab League
Tens of thousands take part in a pro-Assad manifestation on Damascus' Omayyad Square on 26 October. They came by themselves, were not brought in in busses by the government like it used to be in Saddam's Iraq and many other places. The support that the regime obviously still has is something that maybe does not get the attention it deserves.
Syria said on Tuesday it had reached agreement with an Arab League committee tasked with finding a way to end seven months of unrest. State media reported 'agreement regarding a final document on the situation in Syria,' without giving details, saying an official announcement would be made at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Wednesday. But a senior Arab League official said the organization was still awaiting a response from Damascus.
Meanwhile the bloodshed continued according to activists. Ttwo civilians were shot dead by Assad's forces in Homs and two soldiers killed by army deserters in an ambush. One activist also said gunmen dragged nine people, all of them from Assad's minority Alawite sect, from a bus on a road between the cities of Homs and Hama, and killed them
According to Arab diplomats the Arab League proposed that Syria release immediately prisoners held since February, withdraw its security forces from the streets, permit deployment of Arab League monitors and start a dialogue with the opposition. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, whose country heads the Arab League ministerial committee, also said Assad must launch serious reforms if Syria were to avoid further violence.
A Lebanese official with close ties to the government in Damascus said Syria had put forward its own proposals to the Arab League."The Syrian authorities want the opposition to drop weapons, the Arab states to end their funding for the weapons and the opposition, and an end to the media campaign against Syria," the official told Reuters.
Omar Idlibi, a member of the grassroots Local Coordination Committee and member of the National Council, said the opposition wanted to see details of the agreement. 'We fear that this agreement is another attempt to give the regime a new chance to crush this revolution and kill more Syrians,' he said.
"It helps the Syrian regime to remain in power while the demands of the people are clear in terms of toppling the regime and its unsuitability even to lead a transitional period.'