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Syria on Sunday
Syria on Sunday(AFP)

Arab League “extends mission” in Syria

(Dp-news)

CAIRO- The Arab League's observer mission in Syria has been extended for an extra month. The decision has been made by Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday.

Arab League officials say the number of observers will be increased and they will receive training by the United Nations.

League ministers meeting in Cairo are also expected to approve an increase in the number of observers.

The mission's chief, General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi of Sudan, is satisfied with the observers' achievements so far, the mission's deputy chief of operations, Ali Jarush, said.



"Everything indicates the observer mission in Syria will be extended by a month," Jarush said.

"Dabi sees that in the last phase the necessary thrust (of the operation) was achieved after more monitors were deployed and fanned across 20 areas and after they were provided with equipment and logistics which they previously lacked."

Syria official SANA news agency reported Sunday “The visions proposed in the meeting with regard to al-Dabi's report will be submitted to the AL Council at the ministerial level which will meet later in the day at the headquarters of the AL Secretariat-General.”

SANA added “The report of al-Dabi, who is participating in the ministerial meetings, includes a summary of the work of the mission and the task assigned to it according to the protocol signed between the AL and the Syrian Government.”

Although the mandate of the observer mission came to an end formally on Thursday, the agreement covering it provides for an extension for a second month if both sides agree.

So far there has been no suggestion from Damascus that the monitors should be withdrawn. The Syrian government is expected to agree to the league's extension.



For its part, parts at the Syrian opposition want the league to refer the crisis to the United Nations, to secure a tougher international response to the Syrian government’s crackdown, something Damascus is anxious to avoid.

International reports criticized that Arab League's monitors were escorted around Syria by government troops.



An observer mission official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told alJazeera that the mission’s observers, entrusted with monitoring the government’s implementation of a peace plan aimed at ending violence in the country, would increase from 165 to 300.

Another source close to Nabil Elaraby, the head of the Arab League, said ministers could decide to offer the additional support in the form of UN or military experts, according to the same source.



The UN says that more than 5,000 have died since protests against President Bashar al-Assad erupted last March.

The government in Damascus says that some 2,000 members of the security forces have also been killed combating "armed gangs and terrorists".


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