The Arab League is threatening to take Syria to the United Nations for procrastinating over its deadly crackdown on dissent, as an Iraqi mediator reported "positive" talks aimed at defusing the crisis.
In Doha, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani accused Damascus of "procrastination" over an Arab League proposal to send an observer mission to Syria.
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He spoke after an Arab ministerial committee proposed taking the Arab League plan to end the nine-month-long crisis in Syria to the UN Security Council.
The ministers met in Doha a day after Russia proposed a surprise draft resolution to the council.
Anti-Assad protest in Syria (Photo: AFP)
"As Russia has gone to the Security Council, a proposal will be presented in the (Arab ministers') meeting on December 21 that the Arab League goes to the Security Council to present the Arab initiative," Sheikh Hamad said.
He said the move is aimed to "adopt the Arab decisions, instead of that of other countries".
Sheikh Hamad, who is also Qatar's foreign minister, said: "There is no hope to find an exit from this crisis. We have used all possible means, (but) it is clear that there is procrastination."
He warned that the Arab League would take Syria to the UN Security Council if it persisted in refusing to allow international observers into the country to monitor the protection of civilians.
The 22-member Arab bloc has been trying to persuade Damascus to admit observers as part of a plan to end the bloodshed.
On November 27, the Arab bloc approved sanctions against Syria for failing to heed an ultimatum to admit observers.
Earlier this month Syria finally said it would allow the mission, but laid down a number of conditions, including the lifting of sanctions.
The United Nations estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed in the government crackdown on pro-democracy protests which began in mid-March.
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