AFP
Last updated: 14 October, 2011

Gulf states seek Arab meeting on Syria

The oil-rich Gulf states have called for an emergency Arab foreign ministers’ meeting on the mounting bloodshed in Syria as Damascus shows no let-up in its deadly crackdown on protests.

In a statement received by AFP late Thursday, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said the meeting should address “the situation in Syria, which has deteriorated sharply, particularly in its humanitarian dimensions, and steps that could help end the bloodshed and halt the machine of violence.”

The GCC suggested no date for the meeting and made no specific proposals as to the actions it should take.

Arab foreign ministers already met in Cairo on September 13 and called on the Syrian authorities to “immediately stop the bloodshed,” drawing a testy response from Damascus.

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi had met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad three days earlier and presented him with a 13-point document outlining Arab proposals for reform.

More than 2,900 civilians have been killed in Syria since mid-March, when nationwide protests erupted against Assad’s regime, according to UN figures.