In Syria President Bashar al-Assad has ratified a law to end 48 years of emergency rule. State television reported the president had signed the legislation.
The move comes as protests have continued in the city of Homs, where it is reported at least 20 demonstrators have been shot dead in the last three days.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the violence saying “we are particularly concerned” about the situation in Homs.
Fresh protests have been reported in the north eastern province of Hasaka – according to one witness to show solidarity with other Syrian cities.
In Deraa thousands have been on the streets, with many chanting slogans calling for more freedom and for the overthrow of President Assad.
Analysts said the demonstrations in the country have been the most serious challenge to Assad’s 11-year rule. Rights groups say more than 200 people have been killed.
Haitham al-Maleh, a leading Syrian opposition figure, has rejected the lifting of emergency laws as “useless” as he said the judiciary remains in the hands of the ruling elite and security forces cannot be held to account.