Arab League puts off Syria talks

Aug. 12, 2012 at 10:54 AM

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A summit of Arab League foreign ministers to discuss Syria's civil war was canceled with no explanation, officials said.

The meeting was scheduled to take place Sunday in Saudi Arabia, but an unidentified spokesman for the league said it was postponed and there were no immediate plans to reschedule it, Voice of America reported.

The league has repeatedly called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop the military response against civilians in the rebellion that began in March of last year.

There was international media speculation the postponement was related to the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Turkey, where she was meeting with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and intelligence officials.

Clinton is being accompanied by the U.S. Treasury's top intelligence official, David Cohen. He stoked controversy Friday by alleging Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement were helping the Syrian regime.

Turkey and international relief agencies are struggling to deal with tens of thousands of Syrian war refugees who have streamed across the border into tent cities.

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