04:22 GMT +325 March 2019
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    Arab league prepares 'harsh' measures against Syria

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    The Arab League's ministerial meeting in Cairo on Saturday may approve "fresh harsh measures" against Syria, Egypt's Al Ahram newspaper said on Wednesday.

    The Arab League's ministerial meeting in Cairo on Saturday may approve "fresh harsh measures" against Syria, Egypt's Al Ahram newspaper said on Wednesday.

    "The Arab League informed the opposition Syrian National Council that the emergency meeting of foreign ministers on Saturday will approve new measures against the Syrian regime due to non-compliance with the Arab initiative provisions," the newspaper said.

    Algeria has already said it would oppose any initiative directed against Damascus, but Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt may support the move.

    "Algeria would oppose any Arab League decision directed against Syria," Algeria's El Khabar daily said citing the country's foreign ministry.

    Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby will meet with the head of the Syrian national council in Cairo in the coming days. During the meeting, the Syrian opposition leader will inform the Arab League chief about the recent clashes between supporters of President Bashar Assad and anti-government forces.

    A week ago Damascus agreed to accept the Arab League peace plan on Syria. Under the plan, Syria would release political prisoners detained during the ongoing conflict, and all military equipment would be removed from urban areas. Syria also obliged to allow Arab League and world media representatives into the country.

    Opposition leaders maintain that Syrian authorities continue to use force against "peaceful demonstrations" and many people were killed or injured as a result.

    Meanwhile, the authorities say that the troops and police are clashing with militants, who are financed from abroad and attack administrative bodies and ordinary citizens.

    According to UN estimates, more than 3,000 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March, when first anti-regime protests began.

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