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Arab League chief's visit to Syria postponed: media

(Xinhua)

14:01, September 07, 2011

CAIRO/DAMASCUS, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Arab League (AL) chief Nabil el-Arabi's visit to Syria, scheduled for Wednesday, has been postponed at the request of the Syrian government due to " objective reasons," Syrian official media and Al Jazeera TV reported Tuesday.

Earlier reports said that Arabi, who was expected to arrive in Damascus Wednesday noon, is supposed to convey an initiative of the pan-Arab body on the Syrian crisis.

However, Syrian official newspapers Tuesday dismissed reports that Arabi was to introduce a new initiative to help Syria out of months-long unrest, but said he was welcomed to visit Syria.

"A new visit will be scheduled later," said Syria's official news agency SANA without giving further details.

At a special meeting of Arab foreign ministers in late August, the AL expressed concerns about the situation in Syria, warning Syria is witnessing a "dangerous crisis" that requires Arab cooperation to overcome it.

The meeting asked Arabi to visit Damascus in a bid to urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to honor his previous commitments on political and social reforms.

Activists and human rights groups said more than 2,200 civilians have been killed in alleged government operations against protests aiming to oust President Assad's government.

The Syrian government disputes the toll, blaming the months- long unrest on armed groups backed by "foreign conspiracy" to unsettle the country's security and stability.

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