The Arab League is to approach the United Nations Security Council to take immediate action to protect the civilians in Syria.
“The Arab League will assign its Arab representatives in the UN Security Council in the meeting set to take place May 5 to ask the Security Council to protect Syrian civilians immediately,” a final statement said after an Arab League meeting.
The final statement dropped a reference included in an earlier draft seen by Reuters news agency to Chapter 7 of the Security Council charter, which allows it to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.
Earlier, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi yesterday said he had asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to expedite the dispatching of observers to Syria to monitor the ceasefire.
“The UN is faltering on sending the observers to Syria”, al-Arabi told the opening session of a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo. “Violence and killing have not stopped in Syria”.
He proposed that Ban send military observers who are currently serving in UN missions in the Middle East.
Arab ministers were discussing the situation in Syria, two weeks after the UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect, according to sources at the pan-Arab bloc.
Earlier this week in New York, UN peacekeeping officials noted that 11 of the intended 30-strong advance team of unarmed military observers to monitor the April 12 ceasefire were already on the ground.
The UN said the rest of the advance team and the chief military observer will arrive in Syria on Monday.
On Saturday, the Security Council expanded the UN observer force to 300, the first 100 to be deployed within a month.