Arab League Suspends Syria Membership

It calls on Assad to stop violence against protesters
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 12, 2011 8:00 AM CST
Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, center, looks on during the Arab League emergency session on Syria Saturday.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
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(Newser) – The Arab League voted today to suspend Syria in four days and warned it could face sanctions if it does not end its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters. The decision was a symbolic blow to a nation that prides itself on being a powerhouse of Arab nationalism. Qatar Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim said 18 countries agreed to the suspension, which will take effect on Wednesday.

Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen voted against it, and Iraq abstained. Violence has continued unabated since Syria agreed on Nov. 2 to an Arab-brokered peace deal that called for the Syria to halt violence against protesters. "Syria is a dear country for all of us and it pains us to make this decision," bin Jassim said. "We hope there will be a brave move from Syria to stop the violence and begin a real dialogue toward real reform."

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