December 4, 2011
Syria has been given a final deadline by the Arab League to accept international observers into the country or face sanctions.
The Qatari prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, said on Saturday that the league had given Bashar al-Assad’s regime 24 hours to sign its initiative. “If they want to come [and sign] tomorrow they can,” he said, after a meeting of the Arab League ministerial committee in Doha.
He later told al-Jazeera television: “If the signing does not happen tomorrow, and I doubt it will … if the signing does not happen soon, then the Arab sanctions that have been approved will be in effect.”
The Arab League’s sanctions committee confirmed it would freeze the assets of 19 top Syrian officials and Assad associates, and ban them from entering other Arab countries. The number of flights to Syria would be halved. Thani warned that more measures could be imposed if Syria did not stop the crackdown against protesters.