Arab League submits plan on Syria crisis

Arab League submits plan on Syria crisis

Credit: AP

FILE - In this Monday, June 20, 2011 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syria's President, Bashar Assad waves to the audience after he delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad warned against Western intervention in his country's 7-month-old uprising, saying such action would trigger an "earthquake" that "would burn the whole region." (AP Photo/SANA, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

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by ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY

The Associated Press

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 3:45 AM

BEIRUT (AP) -- An Arab League committee has submitted a plan to end the bloodshed in Syria and a response from Damascus was expected Monday, Qatar's foreign minister said.
  
The Arab League panel held a "clear and frank" meeting with a Syrian delegation in Qatar on Sunday, said Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim.
  
There were no details on what the plan entailed.
  
The uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began in mid-March during a wave of anti-government protests in the Arab world that toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The U.N. says that Assad's crackdown has left more than 3,000 people dead.
  
While the specifics of the proposal were unknown, the opposition's stance on dialogue with the regime is mixed. Some influential figures in the opposition have refused to talk to the Assad regime while the military crackdown continues; others see dialogue as a way out of the crisis.
  
In an interview published Sunday, Assad warned the Middle East will burn if the West intervenes in his country's 7-month-old uprising, threatening to turn the region into "tens of Afghanistans."
  
Assad's comments to Britain's Sunday Telegraph were his harshest so far regarding the potential for foreign intervention. But they belie a growing concern over the possibility of some sort of Western military action after months of NATO airstrikes helped rebellious Libyans oust Moammar Gadhafi.
  
"Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground, you will cause an earthquake," Assad said. "Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?"
  
Still the U.S. and its allies have shown little appetite for intervening in another Arab nation in turmoil, and Syrian opposition leaders have not called for an armed uprising like the one in Libya and have for the most part opposed foreign intervention.
  

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