News / Middle East

Arab League, Syrian Opposition Discuss Syrian Crisis

Arab League head Nabil El-Arabi (C) speaks at the Syrian Opposition Conference in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2012. Arab League head Nabil El-Arabi (C) speaks at the Syrian Opposition Conference in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2012.
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Arab League head Nabil El-Arabi (C) speaks at the Syrian Opposition Conference in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2012.
Arab League head Nabil El-Arabi (C) speaks at the Syrian Opposition Conference in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
CAIRO — Syrian opposition leaders and Arab diplomats began a two-day conference in Cairo Monday under the auspices of the Arab League to consider measures to step up pressure against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

While urging opposition figures to unite, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby blasted Mr. Assad for flouting written agreements and resorting to military might rather than political means. He said it is impossible to ignore the heavy-handed tactics that the regime has employed against its people.

Veteran Palestinian diplomat Nasser El-Kidwa, who is the U.N. and Arab League's deputy special envoy to Syria, insisted that the international community is working to put an end to violence and broker a political process.
He said last week's gathering of the five permanent U.N. Security Council nations in Geneva vowed to work diligently to end violence and start an interim political process that will fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people and lead to a democratic future.

Syrian opposition figure Rima Fleihan said she and her colleagues are against dealing with the Assad regime, adding that it belongs to the past. She said "the regime is over" and that it is a mistake to think that the opposition will allow any part of it to remain in place. The Syrian people, she insisted, have chosen to topple the regime and seek a multi-party democracy.

Well-known opposition figure Haitham al Maleh told journalists that he also opposes any dialogue with the Assad government, insisting that "matters will be settled on the ground militarily by the Free Syrian Army."

The Cairo conference is the first Arab League gathering that has specifically invited Syrian opposition figures. Despite the gesture, the rebel Free Syrian Army issued a statement inside Syria insisting it will "refuse all sorts of dialogue or negotiations" with what it called the "killer gangs" of the Assad regime.

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, said most of the recent meetings of the Syrian opposition and of the international contact groups have been a failure.

"In view of the past failures, be it on the part of the international community or the Syrian opposition, I have real doubts whether this meeting in Cairo under the auspices of the Arab League will make any difference," Khashan said.

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by: Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee from: USA
July 03, 2012 2:32 PM
There will be no peace in Syria without involving Iran as a peace-maker. We can not corner Iran from all sides and starve its people and then expect Iran to behave rationally. (Malek Towghi, Ph.D. in History of International Relations from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA)

In Response

by: Tsgt. Leo (USAF Ret.) from: Fort Wayne, Indiana
July 05, 2012 5:21 AM
Doctor (if you really are one)? I have seen NO ONE advocate surrounding Iran on all sides and starving anyone. So where you get your information is beyond me short of conspiracy web sites possibly. Besides, you think Iran's Russian ally will do anything but sell whatever it can to Iran in order to bring Russia more hard foreign currency? I don't doubt this whatsoever. And when the Nazis did things like try to cut off entities like the French resistance and other resistance movements in Eastern Europe of food and other supplies, I think history shows that helped to grow those resistance movements. Guess if you starve an entire people until most or all are dead that can bring a type of peace, but the guerrilla wars could continue for years which doesn't equal peace.

Iran's government will have to be a part of negotiations eventually, but this must be done, but only while that government is doing things like negotiating an end to their nuclear program. And while Iran chooses to stoke tensions with Arab countries, Turkey and especially Israel then Iran needs to be treated like the rogue it is no matter what is happening in Syria.


by: John from: Accra
July 03, 2012 6:19 AM
Does the Arab League include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco and Yemen?


by: Anonymous
July 03, 2012 1:00 AM
There is nothing to discuss with anyone! Assad must be stopped by any means even if it means they have to take him out. Nobody can deal with that man, he is a compulsive liar. As long as he has control of any military, he is a threat to the society there. He must be disabled completely, at any cost or means. This "Talking" about a political dialogue is crap, it WILL NOT WORK. Assad will fight to the end to stay in power, it is the only thing he has and has nothing to lose. Trying to make deals at this point is completely useless. All these discussions are doing is giving Assad more time to kill innocent human beings. I wish the FSA would swarm his complex and put an end to his killing campaign. The Arabs, and West need to wake up and do something, inaction is costing more lives.

In Response

by: Stephan L. from: Spain
July 03, 2012 2:47 PM
that could be said about all Arab leaders... hey its Islam... and its here in Europe... London looks like Cairo


by: Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee from: USA
July 02, 2012 4:59 PM
It is time for the Arab League to request the Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi and the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanai to go to Damascus and jointly find a solution acceptable to the Asad Regime and the Syrian Opposition.

In Response

by: Karen from: USA
July 03, 2012 5:10 PM
Hey "Brothers" - YOUR idiotic comment is what gets Americans into trouble in the first place! You better watch your biting, negative, racist comments and let people who know what they're talking about have this space.

In Response

by: Brothers from: NJ
July 03, 2012 12:00 PM
Hey Dr. Malek.... i guess the "Dr." is honorary form some islamic Madrassa... what are you doing in the US...??? please go back to your Islamic cesspool... Idiot


by: David from: Missouri, USA
July 02, 2012 2:04 PM
How many times are we going to slap the hand of assad before we get serious?

In Response

by: Kurd from: Greece
July 03, 2012 2:04 AM
why should "we" get "serious" with Assad...??? why shouldn't we let the Arab League of Clowns get serious with him... and just enjoy the show... can't you just enjoy the paradox here..??? a league of brutal Islamic dictators chastising another brutal dictator for not being "democratic"... just enjoy the show


by: George from: New York City
July 02, 2012 1:48 PM
This is a smoking mirror where Russia wants to misguide the negotiations and buy time for Assad. Why should we trust the Russians with peace making when their only agenda is selling blood money weapons and keeping Assad in power. Look at what they and China did in Libya. Can we trust them as a real partner of peace when they treat all opposition groups in Russia as terrorists? If the Russians are truly sincere than they must show an act of real courage and stand against Assad and declare that they are not going to support him. Pull all Russian troops and mercenaries out of Syria now!

In Response

by: Marty from: USA
July 02, 2012 11:55 PM
George, what they and China did in Libya? What planet are you on? As for Syria what do you think the US government would if you rose up and gathered arms against them.

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 02, 2012 9:21 PM
You should look at how many people have been killed by US evil under the peace lie

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