Arab League foreign ministers on Sunday called on the U.N. Security Council to approve a joint United Nations-Arab League peacekeeping force for Syria, and urged Arab states to cut off diplomatic ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. The bloodshed in Syria "is a disgrace for us as Muslims and Arabs to accept," says Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal. Assad's government immediately rejected any form of foreign intervention. What should be the Arab League's next step?
The league must keep the pressure on the U.N.: Arab leaders, says Roula Khalaf at Financial Times, are signaling that they are "not retreating, or compromising to assuage Moscow and Beijing," both of which vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning the Syrian regime. The Arab League is offering reluctant powers two choices: "Agree to an Arab-UN peacekeeping mission to restore stability to Syria," or stand back while Arab states "work with a coalition of the willing" to end the bloodshed.
"Arab League turns the screw on Assad regime"
Arab leaders should not wait for the U.N.: The "only viable option" for peace, says Mehdi Hasan in Britain's Guardian, is for the Arab League to mediate talks between the opposition and the regime. "Arab League countries — ideally Egypt or Tunisia, rather than pro-intervention Gulf autocracies — would take the lead, sending in human-rights monitors and, if necessary, peacekeepers (or 'green helmets')." At least an Arab League intervention might end the killings — Western air strikes would just mean more blood.
"Syria: what can be done?"
The Arab League has no legitimacy here: These Arab leaders have no right to condemn Syria, says Syria's Champress in an editorial. Their own governments "have killed millions of people." Besides, they're not legitimate peace-seekers, just "Arab tools" for meddling Western neo-colonialists. If they wanted to mediate peace talks, they would stop condeming the regime while "ignoring the acts of armed terrorist groups in Syria."
"Western colonial powers thank Arab conspiring tools for their efforts against Syria"
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