Syria says it signed Arab deal on Russian advice

BEIRUT - Syria signed up to an Arab peace deal aimed at ending nine months of unrest after Russia advised it to ratify the plan, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday.
"They advised us to sign the protocol and we followed their advice," Moualem told a televised news conference. Moscow, a long-time ally of Damascus, stepped up its criticism of President Bashar Assad's crackdown on protests in a draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council last week.
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