14 Nov 2011

Suspension from Arab League condemned by Syria

9:18 am on 14 November 2011

Syria has condemned its suspension by the Arab League, calling the decision illegal and saying it only served the interests of the west.

Eighteen member states of the League voted for the suspension. Syria, Lebanon and Yemen voted against and Iraq abstained.

The vote was taken after Syria appeared to ignore a League plan that would involve releasing prisoners, withdrawing security forces from the streets and beginning a dialogue with the opposition.

France, the United States and the European Union have welcomed the move by the league.

However, the BBC reports crowds attacked the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in Damascus and French and Turkish consulates in the city of Latakia following the suspension.

State TV has shown footage of large crowds in Damascas, Aleppo and Latakia; some carrying portraits of President Bashar al-Assad.

With the suspension not due to take effect until Wednesday, Damascus has called for an urgent Arab summit and invited Arab League officials to visit.