Arab League to Bring Syria Plan to UN
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said on Thursday that the League’s peace plan, which aims to end Syria's political crisis, will be submitted to the United Nations Security Council early next week, the Al Jazeera network reported.
According to the report Elaraby told reporters in Cairo on Thursday that the meeting with UN officials will be held on Monday in New York.
The League’s plan, which was agreed upon on Sunday, instructs President Bashar Al-Assad to delegate powers to his vice president following the formation of a national unity government.
The Arab League called on the Syrian government to start a dialogue with the opposition within two weeks and for the new government to be formed within two months.
The League’s plan calls for the unity government to prepare to elect a council, within three months, that will write a constitution. It should also prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Al Jazeera reported that Elaraby and Sheikh Hamad bin Jasem Al Thani, Qatar's prime minister who heads the league's Syria committee, would depart for New York on Saturday.
The report noted that Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council that has previously blocked a resolution on Syria, wants dialogue, a peaceful resolution to Syria's crisis and is opposed to any military intervention, such as that which occurred in Libya.
Assad and his government have fiercely rejected the Arab League proposal, accusing the league of being part of a “conspiracy” against Syria, said the report.
The Arab League has been pushing for a UN Security Council resolution to end the Syrian government's violent crackdown on protesters, which has killed thousands of people since demonstrations calling for reform began in March.
The violence continued on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported, with 34 civilians being killed by the security forces in several regions of Syria, mostly in Homs.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the news network that seven deserters and eight regular soldiers died in clashes.
The Observatory said the army launched an offensive on Thursday evening in the Karm al-Zeitoun district of Homs, killing 26 civilians, including nine children, and wounding dozens.
In the city of Hama, the organization said, four civilians were killed, including a 58-year-old woman shot dead by snipers.
In December, the UN said the death toll in the Syria crackdown on protesters stood at 5,000, but on Wednesday the UN’s human rights chief Navi Pillay said the organization has stopped compiling a death toll in Syria, because it is too difficult to get information.