Syria Agrees to Monitors’ Protocol, Demands End to AL Decisions

By Batoul Wehbe

Damascus yesterday replied to the Arab League on the signing of monitor’s protocol, demanding an end to the league’s decisions against Syria immediately after signing the Protocol starting with suspension of Syria’s membership and ending with economic sanctions.

AL sources indicated that it expects that the Protocol would be signed today Monday in Cairo, after the league responded to a number of Syrian demands, including prior coordination on the observers’ task and informing Syria on the formation of the monitoring team, its background and experience, and the abandonment of a request to visit the refugee camps.

Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said late Sunday that messages are being exchanged between Syria and the AL “to reach a certain vision that would facilitate the mission of monitors in Syria while preserving Syrian interests and sovereignty …If there are good intentions, the road is open toward signing an agreement.”

Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci announced that “there is a collective action at the Arab League level in order to give Syria a chance to restore its credibility through its active and positive participation in resolving the crisis.”

During his visit to Jordan, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffery Feltman said: “We agree with the Arab League’s call to allow the media and monitors into Syria,” he said, adding that the US would like to see a UN Security Council resolution that “reinforces” such demands.

Punishing Turkey

In light of the late Turkish sanctions, the Syrian cabinet took reciprocal measures against Turkey including:  Ending the partnership agreement on establishing free trade zone thus taking customs duties on goods, imposing a tariff estimated at 30 % of the value of all the Turkish goods imported to Syria, taking SYP 80 for each fuel liter from the Turkish cars which leave Syria heading for Turkey, implementing transit fee on the loaded or empty Turkish trucks.

Cabinet Secretary-General Tayseer al-Zoubi said in a statement to journalists after the session that the measures taken by the Government came in response to imposing economic sanctions on Syria by Turkey in a way that would harm the Syrian people’ interests and based on retaliating in the same manner and preserving the national interests.

Apart from politics, five citizens were martyred on Sunday at the hands of armed terrorist groups in Homs.

Also, members of a terrorist group stormed the house of a family and opened fire on them. The man’s son was injured in the shooting, while his wife and one of the daughters remained safe in hiding.

University professor at al-Baath University was targeted by an armed group too who opened fire on her while in a taxi, while her daughters and the taxi driver were safe.

Source: Al Manar


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