Syria Committed to Arab Work Plan, Armed Groups and Opposition Must Discard Weapons and Cease Violence

Ambassador Ahmad: Decision to Suspend Syria's Membership Illegal and Violates Arab League's Convention and Internal Charter

Nov 12, 2011

Syria's Permanent Representative at the Arab League, Ambassador Yousef Ahmad, said that the decision to suspend Syria's membership is illegal and violates the Arab League's charter and internal regulations, pointing out that such a decision requires a decision from the Council on the level of summit and it must be unanimous, not a majority decision.

Ambassador Ahmad said that this decision is a eulogy for Arab common action and a blatant announcement that its administration is subordinate to US-western agendas, with some Arab countries seeking to take command of this action which will eventually lead to the collapse of the Arab League and the absence of the concept of Arab group national security, which benefits agendas that seek to scattering the Arab identity.

He said that since the first meeting of the Council, it was clear that were harbored intents for carrying out what took place today, recalling that he told Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem that their intentions aren't pure and that they want to take Syria to international resolutions and foreign interference, adding that he reminded him of them after Arab sides proved through their behavior in the council in coordination with the Secretary General that they had never been anything other than a tool for US-western desires and agendas since the beginning which quickly sought to close off any Arab solution in favor of summoning foreign interference in all its forms regardless of its price and consequences on the entire region.

Ahmad noted that it was clear that the coordination and the managing of the session was completely distant from any semblance of commitment to Arab action, with flagrant coordination between the chairman of the session and the General Secretary in their motion to suspend Syria's membership in an illegal manner.

He pointed out that Syria presented an interposition clarifying through a study conducted by the Arab League itself that there is no way for suspending any country's membership except unanimously, excluding the country in question.

"What is surprising is that during the meeting a week ago, the Committee decided to form a committee to be sent to Syria representing Arab countries, with the countries nominating three representatives to go to Syria to find facts, setting 10/11/2011 as the final date for receiving representatives' names… before the deadline, we were surprised by setting this meeting today after we welcomed this committee through memo yesterday and announced full cooperation with them.

"They backed down from this decision and obliterated it through their suspicious behavior in chairing this session in collusion with the General Secretary… it's obvious that they're following the US agenda and carrying out ordered issued by the US and Europe to hurry up and make a decision against Syria," Ahmad said, noting that the session's chairman ended the session while Algeria's Foreign Minister was still discussing the illegal nature of this decision.

"The Chairman of the Committee ended the session by ringing the bell, considering that the decision was made just like that without regards to the fact that the Algerian Foreign Minister was still talking," he added.

Ahmad said that ever since the US incited gunmen in Syria to keep their weapons and employ violence and murder and since France's Foreign Minister said that the Arab work plan was dead, it was obvious that they will pursue this agenda.

He concluded by pointing out that it was Palestine's turn to be chair the Council, and sadly it relinquished its right to Sheikh Hamad in one way or another, saying "Since then, we knew that something dangerous was being harbored… the proceedings of this session proved this analysis to be objective and realistic, contrary to what they said."

Earlier on Saturday, the Arab League Council on Ministerial Level suspended the participation of Syria's delegation in its meetings.

Ambassador Ahmad: Syria Committed to Arab Work Plan, Armed Groups and Opposition Must Discard Weapons and Cease Violence

Earlier, Ambassador Ahmad affirmed Syria's commitment to implementing all the articles of the Arab work plan on the situation in it, noting that Syria made strides in doing so despite armed groups' attempts to foil the plan since it was announced.

During the extraordinary meeting on the level of foreign ministers held on Saturday at the Arab League headquarters to discuss developments in Syria, Ambassador Ahmad stressed that armed groups, the opposition abroad and all the various forces that seek to escalate the situation in Syria in terms of politics and media are obligated to discard and surrender weapons, cease all acts of violence, comply with the Arab plan, accept national dialogue, and put an end to instigator and negative stances and statements.

Ahmad said that hostile atmospheres, blatant political instigation and media attacks are still taking place with the aim of escalating the situation inside Syria and urge opposition abroad and armed groups in Syria to not cooperate with calming efforts and foil any positive Arab role.

He reviewed the various steps taken by the Syrian government in terms of the Arab work plan, which includes withdrawal of army units from cities and urban areas and replacing them with law-enforcement personnel, noting that despite that, the remnants of the armed terrorist groups continue to use heavy weaponry still being smuggled from neighboring countries to murder and terrorize people in cities and their outskirts.

Ahmad also denied the allegations of some Arab and international mass media which claimed that the Syrian army used military machinery and heavy weapons inside Syrian cities, adding that the Syrian government released 553 detainees involved in recent events with more detainees to be released gradually quite soon, in addition to granting amnesty to those who surrender their weapons as long as they haven't committed murder.

He pointed out to the dangerous development in the US stance regarding the crisis in Syria, with the US Department of State Spokesperson announcing that her country advises gunmen to not surrender their weapons, which shows the degree of the US blatant interference in Syria's internal affair and its clear instigation of violence and murder, adding that this stance also constitutes an official US acknowledgement of the existence of active gunmen in Syria which contradicts previous US statements and allegations which said that what is happening in Syria is merely "peaceful protests and demonstrations."

Ahmad went on to note that Syria invited Arab and foreign mass media to visit Syria and witness the reality of the situation, and that Syria continues to provide information and reports on terrorist acts to the Ministerial Committee and the Arab League General secretariat.

"On 2/11/2011, the night of the Arab League Council's decision was issued, the bodies of 68 citizens murdered by the gunfire of these armed terrorist groups were found… their bodies were mutilated in horrible ways that shame all of humanity… we will show the Arab League delegation the photos and documents related to these crimes as soon as they reach Syria," he said.

Ahmad affirmed that the Syrian government will provide all the necessary facilitations and guarantees to the Arab League delegation which will visit Syria soon, giving them full freedom of movement and guaranteeing their security, voicing Syria's confidence that the presence of the delegation and the professional and credible fulfillment of its duties will play a vital role in ensuring the success of the Arab work plan.

He also underlined some of Syria's official remarks and demands regarding the Arab work plans and the elements to ensure its success, stressing the necessity of shedding light on the attempts of external forces and some members of the Syrian opposition to undermine the plan and show the Arab League as a being helpless to play an active positive role in the Syrian crisis in order to summon foreign interference, regardless of its form or the price it will entail.

Ahmad noted that the US blatant instigation and calls for gunmen to not surrender their weapons is linked to another US stance which calls on Arab countries to join the political and economic boycott in Syria, which also matches the stance of the French Foreign Minister who described the Arab work plan as being dead. He affirmed that these stances show that these despotic forces aren't comfortable with the Arab role and shocked by Syria's response to the Arab initiative.

He said that these negative and serious stances required an official statement from the Arab League or the Arab committee that rejects calls for using weapons and violence and Syria and affirming the continuation of the Arab work plan, inviting all sides within Syria and abroad to play a responsible and constructive role and reject violence. Ahmad called on the Arab Ministerial Committee and the Arab League Council to issue a clear statement in this regard.

He also expressed Syria's surprise over the statements made by the Arab League Secretary General in which he said that Syria isn't committed to the Arab initiative, ignoring in his statement the grave instigator statements of the US and France and the stances of the Istanbul council who rejected the Arab work plan and dialogue.

Ahmad pointed out that after approving the Arab work plan, many Syrian national opposition figures within Syria and abroad became subjects to a campaign of intimidation and coercion to make them reject dialogue with the authorities and join the Istanbul council which seeks to summon foreign interference regardless of its price.

He went on to affirm that media instigation against Syria doubled in a rabid and unprecedented rate since the Arab League Council's decision, manifesting in the way reports are being formed and the broadcast of images, the fabrication of news and focusing on the one side which rejects the plan and dialogue, all which aims at promoting the continuation of violence and creating instability to foil the Arab plan and encourage some opposition figures abroad to adhere to their negative stances, all which would lead to preventing any peaceful solution and opening the door to foreign interference with all its disastrous consequences on the region's security and stability.

Ahmad said that Syria believes that the Arab Ministerial Committee's role and the Arab work plan's articles include basic responsibilities entailing that Arab countries must reign in the unprofessional practices of some Arab mass media which seek to escalate the situation in Syria under the pretext of independence of opinion and funding.

"We don't ask for silencing an opinion or the other opinion… we demand exercising the optimum amount of responsibility, professionalism and neutrality and dealing with the events taking place in Syria," he said, stressing that those who ignore the reality of the negative political and media interference and instigation are attempting to blot out the son with their fingers.

Ahmad said that the Arab Ministerial Committee should play an active and serious role and that it must have a real, organized presence in Syria along with the Arab delegation, calling on the Arab League Council to make clear stances by rejecting the statements of some countries and foreign forces who seek to continue bloodshed and violence in Syria heedless of the interests and aspirations of the Syrians and the serious repercussions of their reckless policies.
H. Sabbagh

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