Assad regime accepts Arab League plan to end unrest in Syria
President Assad's regime accepts plan guaranteeing immediate ceasefire and dialogue with opposition groups; Arab League says 'welcomes' Syria government agreement.
The Syrian government accepted on Wednesday the Arab League proposal to end the violence which has swept the country since opposition to President Bashar Assad’s regime led to widespread unrest in March this year.
The agreement, which will go into effect immediately, guarantees a ceasefire, the release of all political prisoners and the evacuation of all armed security forces from cities across the country.
Assad’s regime also agreed to allow Arab media and Arab League representatives into the country to monitor the situation on the ground.
A dialogue between the Assad regime and Syrian opposition groups will take place in Cairo in two weeks time under Arab League oversight. The regime initially wanted the dialogue to take place in the Syrian capital, Damascus, but eventually agreed to the terms of the deal.
The Arab League confirmed on Wednesday that the Syrian government had approved the plan, according to a League statement released during a ministerial meeting in Cairo.
"The Arab League welcomes the Syrian government's agreement to the Arab plan," the statement said, adding that it "emphasized the need for the immediate, full and exact implementation of the articles in the plan."
"The Arab committee (overseeing the plan) is responsible for submitting periodic reports to the ministerial council of the Arab League on the progress of carrying out the plan," it said.
Nineteen people were killed by security forces across the country on Wednesday, according to Syria rights groups.
According to United Nations figures, more than 3,000 people, including at least 187 children, have been killed in the Syrian government's crackdown on pro-democracy protests that began in mid-March.