Arab League Chief Opposes Using Force in Syria

Arab countries are split on whether to intervene on behalf of the Syrian opposition

The Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said on Thursday he was opposed to violence or direct military intervention as a way to resolve the Syrian crisis, even after leading Gulf states pushed for arming the Syrian opposition.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have argued explicitly for arming the Syrian opposition fighters and trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. Kuwait’s parliament on Thursday made similar calls.

Other leading Arab states such as Egypt, Algeria and Iraq have taken a more cautious approach. “I am against using violence and the Arab League has no link to arming,” Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said.

But the Arab League passed a resolution in February calling for Arabs to “provide all kinds of political and material support” to the opposition, but some Arab states who backed the resolution opposed the idea of sending weapons for fear of worsening the civil war and escalating the violence.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.