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Arab League warns against foreign interference in Syrian conflict


08:08, May 22, 2013

CAIRO, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) warned against the interference of foreign parties, directly or indirectly, in the ongoing military conflict in Syria, a statement said Tuesday.

Following an emergency meeting Tuesday, the AL warned against " the dangerous developments" resulting from the direct and indirect foreign intervention in the military operations and the attempts of some parties to drag Syria and the whole region into strife.

Analysts say the statement refers to Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group that has been directly and indirectly involved in the conflict in Syria.

The AL also condemned the killing of civilians in the Syrian territories, demanding all concerned sides to support the exerted efforts to reach a political solution for the Syrian crisis.

The pan-Arab body expressed great concern over the humanitarian conditions in Syria and the displacement of millions of Syrians outside their villages and towns and the immigration of hundreds of thousands of them to neighboring countries.

It commended the efforts done by Syria's neighboring countries, including Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, for their role in providing the urgent needs for the Syrian refugees, calling for more support for these countries.

The AL demanded all concerned parties to open way for all Arab and international humanitarian organizations to provide assistance for the Syrians distressed by the ongoing conflict.

The emergency meeting came two days before a conference of the Arab ministerial commission on Syria, which will be held on Thursday at the AL headquarters in Cairo.

Chaired by Qatar, the upcoming Arab ministerial meeting will discuss the latest developments in Syria in the light of the recent U.S.-Russian agreement to hold an international conference in Geneva to reach a political solution for the crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has recently paid a visit to Moscow and agreed with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to hold an international peace conference on Syria.

The intended conference is meant to revive a previous one, held in late June 2012 in Geneva and sponsored by the two powers, which called for immediate ceasefire between Syrian fighting parties and launching inter-Syrian dialogue for a transitional government.

Meanwhile, AL Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi and joint AL-UN special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi held talks on the preparations for the "Geneva II" international conference on Syria, official news agency MENA reported on Tuesday.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in Syria, the exerted efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis and the results of the AL emergency meeting on Syria.

During a press conference following the meeting, both Arabi and Brahimi stressed the importance of the upcoming international conference as "the last chance" to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Brahimi described the recent U.S.-Russian understanding as " encouraging," stressing that it was just a first step that needs to be followed by many other steps to reach a peaceful resolution to the Syrian "fatal crisis."

The AL-UN envoy added that the Syrian people pin "great expectations" on the upcoming international conference, admitting that the preparations face "countless obstacles," particularly the formation of the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition who would take part in the conference.

"The region greatly suffers from the consequences of the Syrian crisis. It must be resolved or it would negatively affect Syria's neighboring countries and beyond," Brahimi warned.

For his part, Arabi told reporters that the 2012 conference in Geneva talked about a beginning of transitional stage in Syria and the formation of full-fledged government by agreement of both parties. "This is what we all seek to achieve," he said, highlighting Brahimi's role in this regard.

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