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EU invites Arab League chief to talks on Syria

17 November 2011, 17:51 CET
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(BRUSSELS) - European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton has invited the Arab League's chief to attend talks to discuss ways to pile pressure on Syria's regime, an EU official said on Thursday.

Ashton has asked Nabil al-Arabi to attend a meeting of EU foreign ministers "in the near future, if possible the next one on December 1," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"This is complementary with EU efforts to put pressure on the Assad regime," the official said. The 27-nation bloc has imposed a raft of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle.

The goal of the invitation is to "further coordinate efforts with the Arab League," which is playing a major role in efforts to end the violence in Syria and suspended Damascus over its relentless crackdown against protesters, the official added.

Ashton, who spoke with al-Arabi on Sunday, "is keen to have him on board and come to the meeting."

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