The Arab League has given Syria a day to sign a protocol allowing monitors into the country or the regional body will press ahead with plans to impose economic sanctions, Egypt's envoy to the League said on Thursday.
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The sanctions could include a suspension of commercial flights to Syria and a halt to dealings with its central bank, the envoy, Afifi Abdel Wahab, told reporters in Cairo.
"Tomorrow is the deadline for Syria to sign. If they don't sign, the economic and social council (of ministers) will meet on Saturday to discuss economic sanctions," he said adding that if Syria did not sign foreign ministers would meet again on Sunday to review the proposed sanctions.
Meanwhile, France said Thursday it would seek Arab support for a humanitarian corridor in Syria, the first time a major power pushed for international intervention in the eight-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.
After months in which the international community has seemed determined to avoid any direct entanglement in a core Middle East country, the diplomatic consensus seems to be changing.
The Arab League suspended Syria's membership two weeks ago, accusing Assad of failing to fulfill a Nov. 2 pledge to halt the violence and withdraw troops from cities.
This week, the prime minister of regional heavyweight Turkey - a NATO member with the military wherewithal to mount a cross-border operation - compared Assad to Hitler, Mussolini and Gadhafi, and called on him to quit.
קראו כתבה זו בעברית: הליגה הערבית באולטימטום לאסד: אשר כניסת פקחים תוך יממה, או שנטיל סנקציות