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14:33 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Syrian opposition welcomes Arab League observers, opposes suspension

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The Syrian opposition will welcome Arab League observers, but is opposed to the organization suspending Syria's membership and imposing sanctions on the Western Asian country , an opposition leader said on Thursday.

The Syrian opposition will welcome Arab League observers, but is opposed to the organization suspending Syria's membership and imposing sanctions on the Western Asian country, an opposition leader said on Thursday.

Al-Arabiya reported that the Arab League would send its monitors to Syria within three days to establish the truth behind reports on the ongoing violence in the country. The Arab League suspended Syria from the organization on Saturday, and threatened harsher sanctions if it refused to admit the observers.

Luaj Hussein, leader of the Building the Syrian State movement, hailed the observers' mission. "It is the correct decision," he said, adding that observers would hopefully pressurize President Bashar al-Assad to end his clampdown.

Hussein, however, said Syria's suspension from the Arab League would have negative consequences for the country.

"It will aggravate the split in Syrian society between those who welcome the decision and those who oppose it," he said, adding that the opponents were both government loyalists and most of the Syrian people.

"Qatar and Saudi Arabia have had an increasing influence in the Arab League," he said, adding that "the Syrians' political culture does not accept interference from countries they deem less culturally developed."

Syria's suspension also opens the way for laying the Syrian issue on the UN Security Council table - something that could entail military interference, said Hussein.

"Al-Assad's ousting will plunge Syria into a chaos that would sweep the entire region, first of all Lebanon and then the Persian Gulf and further on," he said.

Gulf countries do not realize that military interference in Syria might have dramatic consequences for their own people, he said.

"Gulf Arab countries are located between Iran and Syria," he said. "If security is upset on the main axis Turkey-Iran-Syria-Israel, it would inevitably affect the Gulf area where security balance is very fragile and depends on stability in the region as a whole."

Two weeks ago, Damascus agreed to accept an Arab League peace plan for Syria, in which Damascus would release political prisoners detained in the current conflict, and remove all military equipment from urban areas.

Protests and violence in Syria have continued for nine months. The UN says 3,500 people have died in clashes while Syrian official statistics put the figure at 2,600. The opposition wants al-Assad to quit, a demand backed by the U.S. and the EU.