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AL urges Syria to hold national dialogue in 15 days

(Xinhua)

13:56, October 17, 2011

CAIRO, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Arab League (AL) foreign ministers Sunday called on the Syrian government and all opposition parties in and outside Syria to hold a meeting in the AL headquarters within 15 days.

They also decided to form a ministerial committee to participate in the Syrian national dialogue after an emergency meeting in Cairo.

"We reaffirm the Arab countries' stand to completely stop killing and violent acts to preserve the national peace and the unity of the Syrian people," Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jasim al-Thani, president of the meeting, told a joint press conference.

An Arab ministerial committee to be presided by Qatar and participated by representatives from Algeria, Sudan, Oman, Egypt and the AL chief Nabil Arabi is to communicate with the Syrian leadership to stop all violent acts and follow up the reforms responding to the Syrian people's aspirations, said the Qatari prime minister.

However, Syria holds reservation over Qatar's chairmanship of the committee, he added.

The AL chief said "there will be urgent communications to start the dialogue with the Syrian regime."

Arabi, who said he had met with various Syrian opposition parties, pointed out that "to freeze relations with the Syrian regime will cut off relations with Syria, which will badly affect the interests of the opposition parties," yet, he said "it is not possible to remain silent on the violence that is going on now in Syria."

The AL and all Arab states should shoulder the responsibility for the crisis in Syria and give the priority of action to Syria to find an immediate solution to the crisis, achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people and hold any foreign intervention on Syria, Arabi said.

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