PARIS, Jan 5 (KUNA) - After reports of a meeting Wednesday between Qatari
Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani with UN Secretary-General Ban
ki-Moon to discuss the Arab League mission in Syria, France said on Thursday
that it supported "all contributions" to boost the effectiveness of Arab
League observers currently on the ground in Syria but who have come under
The Qatari official, who is also Foreign Minister of his country, said that
he was seeking advice from the UN because of the inexperience of the Arab
League teams and "mistakes" that have been made in carrying out the observer
But Sheikh Hamad stressed that it was not the mission of the Arab League
personnel to stop the killing in Syria as they were simply there as "monitors."
A French Foreign Ministry official said here that the Arab League did
indeed have a mandate to bring about a halt to the killing by Syrian security
forces, in addition to other tasks.
"As was recalled Monday last by the Minister for State (Alain Juppe), the
mission of the Arab League aims to verify the effective implementation of the
Arab League plan on four levels: A halt to repression, the release of all
political prisoners, the return to barracks by the security forces and free
access to Syrian territory for international media," Deputy-Spokesman Romain
"Given the risk of manipulation and dissimulation, all contributions to
reinforce the effectiveness of the work of observers in Syria are useful,
notably those of the United Nations," Nadal added here.
"We encourage the Arab League to resort to all means likely to reinforce
the mission so that the observers can move with full independence over all
Syrian territory and make all necessary contacts with Syrian civil society,"
the French official added.
Nadal recalled several resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly
and the UN Human Rights Council calling on Secretary-General Ban to "take all
necessary measures to support the Arab League efforts" if there was a request
He also noted that there was a demand to open an office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights in Syria, but this has not happened.
France also again noted that experts from the international commission of
enquiry, mandated last August to evaluate the situation in Syria, have still
not been allowed into the country. (End)
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