Tuesday Jan 17, 201210:47 PM GMT
Syria rejects Qatari call for Arab troops
Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:46PM
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Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
Syria has firmly rejected a Qatari proposal to dispatch Arab troops to the country to quell the unrest, saying the move would open the door for foreign meddling.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that such a move would "worsen the crisis... and pave the way for foreign intervention."

On Sunday, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani made a proposal for the deployment of Arab troops in Syria.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry statement said Damascus will oppose any attempt to violate its sovereignty and territorial integrity and urges Arab nations to end the media campaign against Syria, which is only worsening the situation.

Meanwhile, Arab League observers continue their visits to Syrian cities and towns, and Damascus says it will allow them to stay longer to continue their investigation of the unrest.

The Arab League is expected to discuss the observers' reports on Syria on Thursday.

Syria has been experiencing unrest ever since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.

The Syrian government also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

In addition, Syrian state TV has broadcast reports showing seized weapons caches and confessions by terrorist elements describing how they obtained arms from foreign sources.

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