DUBAI (Reuters) - Arabs will not agree to foreign military intervention in Syria, Omani Foreign Minister Yousef bin Alawi said in an interview broadcast on Friday, stressing that the only way to end the crisis was through an Arab League peace plan.
Earlier the Arab League chief said he and the Qatari prime minister would present a peace plan to end Syria’s crackdown on months of anti-government protests to ambassadors at the U.N. Security Council in New York early next week.
“The Arab League will not allow foreign military intervention in Syria. This is non-negotiable,” Bin Alawi told Al Arabiya television.
“The Arab League is the only channel that can convince both sides to end this crisis based on a solution they both agree on... The aim of the Arab League is to get Syria out of this crisis through an Arab plan and mechanism.”
The Arab League’s latest proposal mirrors an initiative by the Gulf Cooperative Council’s (GCC) for Yemen, envisaging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad handing power to a deputy and setting up a unity government as a prelude to early parliamentary and presidential elections.
But Alawi, whose country is a member of the wealthy six-member bloc, comprised of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, said the two plans would not be identical.
“We in the GCC think that the Gulf initiative that was suggested for Yemen’s crisis ended in success. But Syria’s problems are not the same as those in Yemen,” he said.
“In Yemen, the legitimate opposition and the government were working towards a solution. But in Syria, we find the opposition fractured and not searching for a solution. We find the Syrian government, although it is cooperating with the Arab League... does not accept several of the League’s decisions.”
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said on Thursday the meeting with the U.N. Security Council members would be held on Monday and that he would depart for New York on Saturday.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani heads the League committee charged with following the Syria file.
Reporting By Nour Merza; editing by Sami Aboudi