SYRIA WILL ALLOW ARAB LEAGUE OBSERVER MISSION
Syria said Monday, Dec 5 it would allow in an Arab mission of military and civilian observers to oversee the implementation of an Arab League peace plan that Damascus agreed to last month to end nearly nine months of violence there.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem sent Nabil al-Araby, the Arab League secretary-general, a message to that effect on Sunday night, hours before another deadline for accepting the proposal was set to expire, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
There was no immediate response from the Arab League, which has taken a tough line against Syria, condemning the government's violent repression of a political uprising and imposing sanctions.
For weeks, Syria has sought to negotiate the league's proposal to send monitors, conditionally agreeing, but then seeking amendments to a plan that Syrian officials had said would undermine the government's sovereignty. The spokesman said that Mr. Mouallem had sought small changes unrelated to the substance of the plan as well as more clarifications, including the nationalities and names of the observers.
"The protocol is intended to be signed soon," the spokesman, Jihad al-Makdesi, told reporters Monday in Damascus. "The Syrian government has responded positively to the draft protocol. I am optimistic, although I await the Arab League response first."
Syria has insisted that it is, in principle, not opposed either to the plan or the dispatch of as many as 500 monitors. Critics have said it is seeking to buy time, as it presses forward with a sweeping crackdown. Syrian officials have said they are only seeking clarification.
The Arab League repeatedly extended deadlines for Damascus to sign, then suspended its membership from the league last month, in a step that was especially symbolic given Syria's own sense of itself as an axis of Arab politics and the region's diplomacy.
Syria's suspension was followed by unprecedented sanctions imposed Nov. 27, including the banning of senior Syrian officials from traveling to Arab countries, freezing Syrian assets in Arab countries and halting financial operations with major Syrian banks, including the central bank, The New York Times reported.
- 1837 Birth of Stepanos Palasanyan (armenologist) in Bodushan, Moldavia. He died in 1889 in Etshmiadsin.
- 1837 Death of Hakob Shahen-Jrpetyan (armenologist) in Tbilissi. He was born in 1772 in Urfa.
- 1920 The first Armenian issue of the "Communist" daily published in Yerevan. It was the official paper of the Central Committee of the Armenian Communist Party. After 1921, it was called "Soviet Armenia".
- 1920 The first order of the Revolutionary Committee of the Armenian SSR creates the People's Commissariat of Military Affairs of the Armenian SSR.
- 1936 The 7th Extraordinary Congress of the Soviet of the USSR confirms the new constitution. The Armenian SSR becomes a Union Republic.
- 1936 The Kanaker Power Plant is put on line.