Arab League foreign ministers gather in Cairo to meet on Syria sanctions
Draft set of sanctions includes ban on travel by senior Syrian officials and the suspension of trade links; Syria ignored a Friday deadline to endorse a plan to allow Arab monitors into the country.
Arab League foreign ministers were to meet in Cairo later on Sunday to decide whether to rubber-stamp a set of sanctions on Syria drafted by their economy ministers after Syria ignored a deadline designed to end its violent crackdown on protesters.
Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who heads the league's ministerial committee on Syria, arrived in Cairo early Sunday. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was also expected to take part in the talks.
On Saturday, its economy ministers drafted a set of sanctions, which include a ban on travel by senior Syrian officials and the suspension of trade links.
As part of the proposed package, Arab governments are to also stop dealing with Syria's central bank and to suspend flights by Syria's state-owned airline, except for those carrying goods, the economy ministers said in a statement.
The latest meeting comes after Syria ignored a Friday deadline - the second set by the regional body this month - for it to endorse a plan to allow Arab monitors into the country, pull the Syrian Army from civilian areas and engage in talks with the opposition.
The 22-country organization suspended Syria's membership earlier this month after President Bashar Assad ignored calls to end an eight-month crackdown on protests which has left at least 3,500 people dead.