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Assad speech coming

According to Al Arabiya, President Bashar al Assad will give a national address on recent developments in Syria.  The Arab League, which has suspended Syria’s membership and sent in a mission to encourage peaceful resolution to Syria’s internal dissent, is now being criticized by the opposition in Syria.

The [Syrian National Council] expressed disappointment at the “slowness and reluctance of the Arab League in implementing the Arab plan, which clearly states the need for the military to return to their barracks, release all detainees, authorize peace demonstrations and give access to observers and journalists.”

The umbrella group made up of Arab and Kurdish nationalists, Marxists and independents urged the League to “immediately” begin talks with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on proposing the Arab peace plan to the Security Council to “prevent procrastination.”

It called for “the protection of civilians by all legitimate means in the context of international humanitarian law, including the establishment of safety and no-fly zones.”

Within the United Nations Security Council, Russia and China have already demonstrated a willingness to veto resolutions allowing for military intervention in Syria.  It may be that such actions must come out of the Arab League itself.  However, despite the hints that are out there, it seems incredibly unlikely to me that the Arab League could succeed in coordinating the use of force in Syria.

Arab League officials said the future of the monitoring mission, due to make a full report on Jan. 19, depended on the Syrian government’s commitment to ending the daily bloodshed.

“If the … report comes out saying the violence has not stopped, the Arab League will have a responsibility to act on that,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told a news conference after the Cairo meeting.

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