Emerging from consultations in Cairo on Sunday, the Arab League is calling for a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping mission to end the 11-month conflict in Syria.
In a resolution seen by the BBC but not yet officially released, the Arab League scrapped its observer team, suspended last month, and said it was ending all diplomatic co-operation with Syria.
Damascus “categorically rejected” the resolution, a Syrian envoy said.
The League’s moves come a week after a UN Security Council resolution on Syria was vetoed by Russia and China.
The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen in Cairo says the resolution contains the toughest language on Syria by the Arab League so far and makes it much more likely that the issue will return to the Security Council.
UPDATE (1435 Eastern):
An English text of the resolution is available at the Arab League website, but the site is unstable and pages are not fully loading. I expect this is due to significant demand. Worth checking later this evening.
The English text has disappeared. The original Arabic text is available at: http://arableagueonline.org/wps/wcm/connect/dbd065804a2433d984769c526698d42c/7446.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
Following is the best English language summary I have found of the Arab League resolution:
At the conclusion of its meeting in Cairo, the Council issued Resolution No. 7446 on the “follow-up developments of the situation in Syria,” which rejected and condemned the continued killings and violence in Syria and the continued retention of the military option, which is contrary to the obligations set forth in the resolutions of the Council of the League of Arab States and the Arab Plan of Action. (Palin note: The reference to the “military option” is ambiguous and I don’t have the Arabic to confidently clarify.)
The Council of the League of Arab States calls on the United Nations Security Council for a resolution to form an Arab peace-keeping forces jointly with the UN to oversee the implementation of a ceasefire. It was also decided to stop all forms of cooperation with the diplomatic representatives of the Syrian regime in each member state and in international bodies and conferences.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs agreed to end the monitoring mission of the Arab League, due to problems under the protocol signed between the Syrian government and the Secretariat of the League, and drew the call to the Secretary-General to name a special envoy to pursue the political process proposed in the framework of the Arab initiative.
The Council welcomed the offer of the Tunisian Republic to host the Conference of Friends of Syria to be held on 24.02.2012, and decided to open channels of communication with the Syrian opposition and provide all forms of political and material support to it. The Council also call on the Syrian opposition to unite and engage in serious dialogue to advance its coherence and effectiveness prior to the Tunis conference.
The resolution emphasized the validity of the economic boycott with the Syrian regime, except those directly affecting the Syrian citizens in accordance with the decisions of the Council of the League on this issue.