Syria has condemned its suspension from the Arab League as a “dangerous step”.
Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem attacked the organisation for taking the decision at a time when the government, he said, was trying to engage with the opposition.
“It does include an extremely dangerous step that will affect present and future Arab-cooperation. The decision needs a consensus, except from the country under consideration. This did not happen.”
Only Lebanon, Yemen and Syria itself opposed the suspension on Saturday; a rare near uninamous vote for the twenty two member body.
Tens of thousands of supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad demonstrated in the streets the following day, decrying the decision as “illegal” and accusing the Arab League of bowing to presure from Washington.
It leaves Syria increasingly isolated, with Jordan’s King Abdullah joining the chorus of voices calling on Assad to resign.
Amid continued anti-Assad protests in several Syrian towns, King Abdullah told British television that Assad should step down, but “also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life.”