Call to remove Arab monitors as Assad expected to deliver speech
An advisory body to the Arab League has to immediately remove the Arab observer mission to Syria, saying its presence there is not helping to halt the government's crackdown on dissidents. The Arab Parliament, an 88-member committee composed of four delegates from each of the league's member states, said Sunday that Arabs are angered by the ongoing violence while dozens of monitors are in the country.
Ali Salem al-Deqbasi, the Kuwaiti head of the advisory group, said the presence of the observers is distracting from the "flagrant violations" committed by President Bashar Assad's regime.
"The mission of the Arab League team has missed its aim of stopping the killing of children and ensuring the withdrawal of troops from the Syrian streets, giving the Syrian regime a cover to commit inhumane acts under the noses of the Arab League observers," al-Deqbasi said in a statement.
On Saturday, amateur video surfaced purporting to show one observer in the southern city of Daraa saying he had seen snipers.
Meanwhile, media sources said al-Assad held in the past three days intensive meetings with officials, and listened to reports on contacts held between representatives of the government and opposition figures. The sources said the Syrian leader held consultations in preparation for a speech he is expected to deliver in the upcoming days. According to these sources, Assad is expected to announce during his speech the formation of a new government, which will include opposition and independent figures.