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Syrian opposition party invites foreign journalists to cover unrest on ground

(Xinhua)

08:48, December 27, 2011

DAMASCUS, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- A Syrian opposition group has urged foreign media to come to Syria and cover the country's unrest on the ground, offering journalists conveniences such as opportunities to have interviews with "activists and ex-political prisoners" and field trips to the restive areas.

In a statement emailed to Xinhua Monday, the opposition party named Tayyar Binaa Syria also called on journalists to report the obstacles from the government they might face so "we can report it to the Arab League."

"We believe that the existence of media would have a deep impact on providing protection to protesters amid the authorities' repression and crackdown on them and to convey what is really going on to the Arab and international public opinion," the group said.

The opposition accused the Syrian government of violently repressing anti-government protests, but the government denied the accusation, blaming the unrest on armed groups and a "foreign conspiracy".

The Arab League (AL) has started sending observers into Syria to monitor the country's implementation of the AL peace plan to end the months-long crisis. The AL plan requires the government to remove its security forces and heavy weapons from urban streets, start talks with opposition leaders and allow human rights workers and journalists into the country.

Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mostafa al-Dabi, head of the AL observer mission to Syria, arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus Saturday evening with a few of his assistants, as the rest of his 50-member team would go to Syria on Monday as planned.

Syria signed the AL observer protocol last week in Cairo after the AL threatened to refer the Syrian crisis to the United Nations Security Council.

On Thursday, an advance team of the observer mission, headed by Samir Saif al-Yazal, assistant to the AL chief Nabil al-Arabi, arrived in Syria.

The Syrian government said Thursday that a total of 2,000 army and security personnel were killed during the nine-month-long unrest. The United Nations said more than 5,000 Syrians have been killed.

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