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Arabs to talk to Syrian opposition

Arab foreign ministers will agree to start talks with the Syrian opposition and call for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping mission in Syria, according to a draft resolution of their meeting in Cairo on Sunday.

world Updated: Feb 12, 2012 22:52 IST

Arab foreign ministers will agree to start talks with the Syrian opposition and call for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping mission in Syria, according to a draft resolution of their meeting in Cairo on Sunday.

They will also announce the end of a controversial observer mission that was sent to monitor violence in the conflict-stricken country. Arab diplomats want to "open channels of communication with the Syrian opposition and offer full political and financial support, urging (the opposition) to unify its ranks," according to the draft obtained by AFP.

They will announce the "end of the Arab League observer mission" and call on Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi to "name an envoy to monitor the political situation." They will also call on the United Nations Security Council to form a joint UN-Arab League peacekeeping mission in Syria, where a bloody crackdown on dissent has left thousands of people dead since last March.

The Arab ministers will call for a "halt to all kinds of diplomatic cooperation with representatives of the Syrian regime," but will leave it to each country to implement that decision.