Arabs lean toward extension of Syria mission, source says

January 20, 2012 22:10


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CAIRO - Arab states are likely to extend the mandate of their monitors in Syria despite concerns over their inability to bring about an end to bloodshed during their first month there, an Arab diplomatic source said on Friday.

Arab League members have been worlds apart over how to bring about a lasting solution to Syria's crisis and the source told Reuters that they now had little option but to renew the observer mission unchanged.

The 165-person mission expired on Thursday with no sign of a halt to President Bashar Assad's crackdown on popular unrest.

"The closer Sunday's meetings of the Arab committee and the Arab foreign ministers get, the more the conviction grows that the Arab monitoring mission in Syria should be extended," the source at League headquarters in Cairo said.

"Yes, there is not complete satisfaction with Syria's cooperation with the monitoring mission. But in the absence of any international plan to deal with Syria, the best option is for the monitors to stay."

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