William Hague calls on Arab League to respond 'swiftly' to bloodshed
William Hague, the foreign secretary, has urged the Arab League to respond "swiftly and decisively" to Syria's failure to implement a plan aimed at ending eight months of bloodshed. [how could the Arab League respond "swiftly and decisively"? Invade Syria? And what then? Would Iran take the side of Syria against the Jordanians, Saudis, et al.? That would be wonderful, of course, but that outcome is the furthest thing from William Hague's mind. If only those Unintended Consequences could come about, it would make it all worth while.]
Mr Hague also called on Syria to "lift the siege of Homs", the only major city to remain outside the regime's control, and to withdraw forces from the country's towns and cities in line with its agreement with the Arab League.
"It is deplorable that despite making a commitment to the Arab League to end the violence last week, the Syrian government has escalated the repression and many more people have died as a result," said Hague in a statement.
"I call on the Arab League to respond swiftly and decisively to the Syrian regime's failure to implement the agreement so far," he said. "The international community looks to these Arab nations to show decisive leadership to address this crisis in their midst."
Syria must also "implement all other aspects of the agreement in full," he said. ["Must"? "Must"? Says who? He doesn't understand how the Alawites -- and the Christians -- feel. He has no idea why they are so fearful, and therefore so willing to stick even with Assad. He can't figure out what must be going through the minds of the nearly one million Iraqi Christians who have sought refuge in Syria. He can't figure out any part of the Middle East, can't begin to understand it, because he can't figure out what Islam means, to Muslims and to non-Muslims who must live in their midst.]
Under the agreement struck between Syria and the pan-Arab bloc, President Bashar al-Assad must open talks with the opposition and withdraw tanks from the streets.
On Tuesday, opposition group the Syrian National Council urged the Arab League to stand strong against Assad's regime as the United Nations said its crackdown on dissent had left more than 3,500 people dead.