It is being described as a rare show of consensus among Arab states. Arab League foreign ministers have met in Morocco to formalise the organisation’s weekend decision to suspend Syria’s membership. This over its refusal to halt its crackdown against anti-government demonstrations.
The Qatari Foreign Minister Hamid bin Jassim said:
“What has happened in Syria is very sad for all of us. We cannot accept that people are being killed in the way they are now. We are moving to stop the flow of blood.”
As the violence continues, France has recalled its ambassador and Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has warned that Damascus is facing “isolation in the Arab world”. Paris says it is working with the Arab League on a draft resolution to be presented at the UN, amid calls for tougher sanctions from the West.
It is also reported that Syrian army defectors have attacked an intelligence complex on the edge of the capital, putting more pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The defectors, calling themselves the Free Syrian Army, say they are appalled by the killing of unarmed people.
Amid growing international pressure, it is reported Syria this week released more than 1,000 people arrested during the uprising, as well as the prominent dissident Kamal Labwani.