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Syria suspended from Arab League, organization confirms

Arab League foreign ministers confirm Syria's suspension from the organization because of a continuing bloody crackdown on protesters, and give the Syrian government three days to respond to a peace plan.

Syria suspended arab league 11 16 2011Enlarge
Qatari foreign minister Cheikh Hamed Ben Gassem (R) and Secretary General of Arab League Nabil al-Arabi (L) during a meeting comprising of Arab league Member states and Turkey to discuss a response to the crackdown in Syria, in Rabat on November 16, 2011. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime will pay dearly for the deadly crackdown it has unleashed on its own people, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.'The Syrian regime is going to pay very dearly for what it has done,' Davutoglu told journalists in Rabat, where Arab League ministers are to discuss sanctions against the Damascus regime. (ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria has been suspended from the Arab League because of a continuing brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters, foreign ministers with the organization confirmed Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported that the 22-member Arab League confirmed Syria's suspension at an emergency meeting in Rabat, Morocco. The organization also gave the Syrian government three days to respond to a peace deal that would involve sending Arab League monitors to Syria, the AP said.

According to BBC News, Qatar's foreign minister said Syria faces economic sanctions if it does not co-operate and allow in observers.

More from GlobalPost: Arab League suspends Syria over protest crackdowns

The Arab League at a meeting in Cairo on Saturday first said it would suspend Syria, considered "a surprisingly harsh and highly unusual move," the AP reported.

The League has repeatedly called for President Bashar al-Assad's government to end its use of brutal force against demonstrators.

The suspension is expected to last until Syria agrees to a plan to end the bloodshed.

More from GlobalPost: France pulls diplomat out of Syria 

Syrian security forces have continued to use violence against protestrs, despite an Arab League-brokered peace plan that was supposed to see soldiers withdrawn from the streets and prisoners released from jails.

Torture and unlawful killings continue in the central city of Homs, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

The UN said Tuesday that more than 3,500 people have died in the anti-government protests since March.

More from GlobalPost: Syria: the cost of repression

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111116/syria-suspended-arab-league-peace-plan