Gulf states pulling monitors from Syria mission

Following Saudi announcement that it was recalling its representatives from the Arab League mission, GCC follows suit.

By REUTERS
January 24, 2012 12:14
1 minute read.
Gulf Cooperation Council state leaders [file]

Gulf Cooperation Council state leaders in Saudi Arabia 311 R. (photo credit: Handout / Reuters)

 
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The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said on Tuesday it had decided to withdraw its monitors from an Arab League mission to Syria, following the lead of Saudi Arabia.

The League had urged Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday to step down over his bloody crackdown on a 10-month-old revolt in which thousands of Syrians have been killed. Saudi Arabia had already withdrawn its monitors, and called for "all possible pressure" on Damascus.

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"The GCC states have decided to respond to the decision of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to withdraw its monitors from the Arab League delegation to Syria," the GCC said in a statement.

It said the GCC was "certain the bloodshed and killing of innocents would continue, and that the Syrian regime would not abide by the Arab League's resolutions".

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia withdrew its monitors from the Arab League mission.

"My country will withdraw its monitors because the Syrian government did not execute any of the elements of the Arab resolution plan," Prince Saud al-Faisal told Arab foreign ministers at a closed door meeting in Cairo. The statement was obtained by Reuters after he spoke.

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"We are calling on the international community to bear its responsibility, and that includes our brothers in Islamic states and our friends in Russia, China, Europe and the United States," Prince Saud said, calling for "all possible pressure" to push Syria to adhere to the Arab peace plan.

Saudi Arabia, the region's political and economic powerhouse, exerts enormous influence over other Gulf countries which tend to fall in line with its policies.

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