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Arab League calls for transitional government in Syria - Qatar
By AFP - Jul 23,2012 - Last updated at Jul 23,2012
DOHA (AFP) - Arab nations have called on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to swiftly give up power in order to end his country's unrest, Qatar's prime minister said Monday.
"There is agreement on the need for the rapid resignation of President Bashar al-Assad," Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani told journalists following a ministerial meeting of the Arab League in Doha which wound up in the small hours Monday.
The Arab League also urged the rebel Free Syrian Army to form a transitional government of national unity.
"We call on the opposition and the Free Syrian Army to form a government of national unity," Sheikh Hamad said as he delivered the results of the Arab League meeting.
He urged Assad to take the "courageous" decision in order to save his country where fierce fighting raged on Sunday between government troops and rebels.
Nationwide, 123 people were killed in violence on Sunday, 59 of them civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It added that over the past seven days as many as 1,290 people have been killed, three quarters of them civilians.
Sheikh Hamad said Assad "could stop the destruction and the killings by taking a courageous decision".
He added that only one Arab League nation had expressed reservations over the adopted position.
Those meeting in Doha Sunday also agreed to offer $100 million in aid to Syrian refugees, said Sheikh Hamad who is also his country's foreign minister.
DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syria rejects a call by the Arab League for President Bashar Al Assad to give up power, foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said at a media conference on Monday.
Qatar appeared on Monday to be preparing its population for new leadership that could see the emir and prime minister step down, a step analysts say would not herald big changes in energy, investment or foreign policies.
Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, on Sunday urged Israel's coalition government to opt for peace and not bet on Arab leaders against their people amid sweeping Arab Spring uprisings.
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