Last updated: 27 March, 2013

Arab League part of Syria problem, says Damascus

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime lashed out against the Arab League on Wednesday for giving the opposition Syria’s seat, and said the group could no longer play a role in solving the crisis.

“The decision taken by the Arab League on Tuesday has permanently eliminated it from playing a role in a solution for the crisis in Syria, because it has become part of the problem rather than its solution,” a government statement said.

“The summit encouraged the use of violence, extremism and terrorism that are a danger not only for Syria but also the whole Arab nation and the world,” it added.

“The countries that are playing with fire by arming, financing, training and hosting terrorists should know that they will not be untouched by the spreading flames,” the statement added.

On Qatar’s initiative, the Arab League decided to hand Syria’s empty seat to the opposition, whose chief Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib spoke before Arab heads of state in Doha on Tuesday.

Founded in Qatar in November last year, the main opposition National Coalition has since been recognised by dozens of states and organisations as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

“The Arab League’s irresponsible acts of giving the Syrian seat… to an illegitimate party and of using another flag instead of the Syrian flag are a clear violation of (its) charter and its internal protocol,” the government added.

Syria’s membership of the Arab League was suspended in November 2011 amid a brutal regime government crackdown against dissent.

On Tuesday, the green, black and white flag of the opposition was used at the Doha meeting rather than Syria’s traditional red, black and white flag.