Arab League chief says 'ball is in Syria's court'

December 8, 2011 20:02

BAGHDAD - Syria should sign an Arab League-proposed peace plan as soon as possible if it wants to avert economic penalties from Arab states over its eight-month crackdown on protesters, the head of the Arab League said on Thursday.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said he held talks with senior officials in Iraq, which borders Syria, to "explore whether the Iraqi government is willing to exert its influence with Syria" to agree to the Arab plan.

"What we expect is as soon as possible Syria will accept to sign the protocol... Now it is up to Syria, the ball is in the Syrian court," Elaraby said at a joint news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari in Baghdad.

"It is up to them. (If) they want to stop the economic sanctions, they sign."

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