Algeria pleads for peace in Syria

Jan. 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- All parties to the conflict in Syria, including the government and opposition forces, are called on to work with the Arab League, an Algerian official said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed her Algerian counterpart Mourad Medelci to Washington to discuss regional affairs. Their meeting followed a decision by an Algerian member of the Arab League observer mission to resign in protest of the ongoing violence.

Clinton, during a joint press briefing with the Algerian minister, noted the violence in Syria hasn't subsided despite the presence of the Arab team.

"We will continue to work with Algeria and all our partners in the Arab League to end the violence in Syria and to hold those responsible for the violence accountable," she said.

Anwar Malek, the Algerian member of the Arab team, told al-Jazeera this week there were snipers "everywhere" in Syria "shooting at civilians."

Medelci said he had a "concurrence of views" with Clinton on the Syrian situation, with both sides denouncing the violence.

"I would like to take this opportunity to urge all parties in Syria, be it the government or the opposition, to work together with the Arab League in order to help solve this extremely complex problem and issue," he said.

The United Nations estimates at least 5,000 people have been killed since the uprising began mid-March. Damascus blames domestic "terrorists" for much of the unrest.

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