Algeria slams Arab League’s support for armed Syria opposition

s.alambaigi20130401142033710Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci has criticized the Arab League for handing Syria’s seat to its foreign-backed armed opposition bloc, saying any decision taken by one Syrian group will have a “very short life.”

Medelci made the remarks on Monday while reiterating his country’s policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

“It is up to the Syrians to decide, and any decisions coming from just one Syrian group — more than that, any decision coming from a group of Syrians which is subject to external pressures — risk having a very short life,” he said.

On March 26, the Arab League handed Syria’s seat to the opposition, known as the National Coalition, during a two-day summit held in the Qatari capital, Doha.

The League also authorized its members to send all the means of what it called self-defense, including weapons, to militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Medelci also said that giving a state’s membership to “something that is not a state” was not allowed under the Arab League Charter.

In November 2011, the Arab League suspended Syria’s membership, though Damascus is a founding member of the organization.

Iraq and Algeria are the only countries that have expressed reservations, while Lebanon has opposed the decision.

Many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence that broke out in Syria in March 2011.

Damascus says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants.

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