- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Oman, Qatar, say Assad about to sign Syria peace deal
- Date: 19th December 2011
- Summary: GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL (GCC) MEETING, RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (DECEMBER 18, 2011) (REUTERS) SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER PRINCE SAUD AL-FAISAL LEAVING MEETING. DELEGATES LEAVING MEETING OMANI FOREIGN MINISTER, YOUSSEF BIN ALAWI BIN ABDULLAH, LEAVING MEETING (SOUNDBITE) (English) OMANI FOREIGN MINISTER, YOUSSEF BIN ALAWI BIN ABDULLAH, SAYING: "We are optimistic that Syria will join the Arab League to sign the protocol, which is ready now, within 24 hours. That is what we hope for. If not, the Arab League foreign ministers will meet on Wednesday to consider measures (that) would be taken in the future." GCC SECRETARY, GENERAL ABDULATIF AL-ZEYANI, LEAVING MEETING. MORE DELEGATES LEAVING.
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2012 12:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA3LK2AIA7I21UDQHDGB63EQ64M
- Story Text: Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah said on Sunday (December 18) he was optimistic Syria will sign an Arab peace plan to end a violent crackdown on anti-government protests before an Arab League meeting later this week.
"We are optimistic that Syria will join the Arab League in signing the protocol, which is ready now, within 24 hours," Abdullah said, ahead of a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in the Saudi capital due to start on Monday.
"That is what we hope for. If not, the Arab League foreign ministers will meet on Wednesday to consider measures (that) would be taken in the future," he added.
Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, also at the GCC meeting in Riyadh, said he had information Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would finally sign the League peace plan, after weeks of stalling.
The Arab League has suspended Syria and imposed sanctions over Assad's refusal to accept its plan, which calls on Damascus to end bloodshed, free prisoners, start dialogue with the opposition and allow peace monitors into the country.
Damascus has not rejected the plan outright, but has stalled for weeks, saying that the request it allow monitors could violate its sovereignty.
Arab foreign ministers meet in Egypt on Wednesday and could decide to put the plan before the United Nations Security Council, making it the basis for a wider international effort to force Assad to end violence.
The United Nations says 5,000 have been killed in the Syrian government's crackdown on months of protest.
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