Syria appears increasingly isolated after Jordan’s King Abdullah became the first Arab leader to call on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
With the anti-Assad unrest crippling Syria’s economy and the death toll among civilians rising, King Abdullah urged Assad to go to make way for political reforms.
Syria’s suspension from the Arab league has also come as a blow to Assad who has always seen himself as a champion of Arab unity. To make matters worse, Syrian opposition figures are to meet League leaders today.
The European Union has agreed to extend selected sanctions against 18 more Syrians linked with the crackdown on dissent.
But despite the rising death toll – 40 more people are said to have died in the last 24-hours in fighting between protesters and Syrian forces – Damascus still retains some support.
Russia and China have criticised the Arab League’s suspension move and have welcomed its willingness to consider holding an emergency summit at Syria’s request.