Syria to allow Arab League observers 'in principle'

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Syria to allow Arab League observers 'in principle'

Syria to allow Arab League observers 'in principle'
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Syria has accepted in principle an Arab League plan to send observers to help end the bloodshed, according to British media reports on Friday.

Several newspapers quoted Syrian diplomats as saying that they had accepted a deal with conditions: Damascus wants further clarification of the observers’ legal status.

The United Nations say more than 3,500 people have died in the eight-month uprising against President Bashar Assad’s rule.

Protests were held again on Friday. Activists said at least eleven people were killed.

The news of the Arab League deal came shortly after France urged the UN Security Council to slap sanctions on Damascus. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said the international community “must continue to exert pressure” on Syria.

“I also think it would be good if the Security Council acted,” France’s chief diplomat said.

“It is not normal during a crisis like this – already 3,500 dead, 20,000 prisoners in Syrian prisons, being treated in an extremely brutal manner, tortured – for the Security Council not to act.”

Juppé was speaking at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara.

Meanwhile, protesters gathered outside the Syrian embassy in Istanbul to demonstrate against the Assad regime.

Turkey once enjoyed close ties with Syria but it has adopted a harsher stance on its former ally’s crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.