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Arab League concerned about Syrian crisis

By Huang Peizhao (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

08:56, November 18, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Beijing, Nov.18 (People's Daily Online) -- The Arab League announced on Nov. 12 that it would suspend Syria's membership starting Nov. 16 and has urged member states to withdraw ambassadors from Syria. The Arab League's move is like a "high-explosive bomb" that will pose a marked impact on the Syria crisis and the Middle East at large.

The situation in Syria has been increasingly severe since the outbreak of the crisis in the country in March 2011. To prevent external military intervention and even keep Syria from becoming the second Libya, the Arab League had proposed to solve the crisis within the framework of the league.

However, the Arab League's efforts have produced few effects, which has become a black eye for the league and a factor prompting it to impose greater pressure on Syria. Some media agencies said that after announcing the suspension of Syria's membership, the Arab League has changed its roles in the Syria issue from a mediator to a pressure creator. The Arab League's move has been opposed by the Syrian government but welcomed by the Syrian opposition and Western countries.

The original intent of the Arab League was to pressure the al-Assad regime to comply with the demands of the Syrian people and to stop the use of violence. However, certain analysts noted that the Arab League’s move has objectively squeezed the al-Assad regime's room for diplomatic maneuver and may even accelerate external forces' intervention in Syria’s domestic affairs.

Fortunately, all parties involved are still open to negotiations. Despite failures, the Arab League remains patient and confident in resolving the Syria crisis. From Syria's perspective, although the Arab League has adopted a hard-line stance and passed unprecedented tough sanctions, the punishments are preferable to Western political and military intervention. Therefore, Syria is likely to accept the Arab League’s mediation.

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