Arab League chief to visit Syria on Wednesday – official


Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby will visit Syria to pass on Arab concerns about the Syrian government’s violent crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, an Arab League source told Reuters.

“Arab League confirms that the League’s secretary general will visit Syria Wednesday and details on the duration and details of the visit will be released tomorrow,” the source said, confirming a report by Egypt’s news agency MENA.

Elaraby said Sunday that the Syrian government had accepted a request from the Arab League for a visit, Reuters reports.

Arab governments broke months of silence at a meeting at the League’s headquarters in Cairo last week demanding Syria end months of bloodshed, and decided to send Elaraby to Damascus to push for political and economic reforms.

Last week, the attorney-general of the Syrian city of Hama said in a video posted on YouTube that he had resigned in protest at the repression of pro-democracy protests, but authorities said he had been kidnapped.

EU governments agreed Friday to ban imports of Syrian oil to raise economic pressure on Assad and his government.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the sanctions, saying they “will lead to nothing good.” Russia has close ties with Syria and is one of its main arms suppliers.