CAIRO: The Arab League said Sunday it rejected amendments proposed by Damascus to its proposal to send a 500-strong delegation to monitor the violence in Syria, saying they would radically alter the mission.
"It was agreed that the amendments and appendices proposed by the Syrian side affect the core of the document and would radically change the nature of the mission which is to oversee the implementation of the Arab plan to end the crisis in Syria and protect Syrian civilians," the Arab League said in a statement.
The League, which did not release details of the amendments proposed by Damascus, said it had notified Syria of its decision.
The statement said the Arab League had tasked the pan-Arab bloc's chief Nabil al-Arabi to hold further talks with the Syrian government in a bid to have it sign the document on the observers within three days.
"The League is committed to solving the Syrian crisis within an Arab frame, in order to put an end to the violence and the killing and to respond to the ambitions of the Syrian people for change and political and economic reform," it said.
Under a November 2 deal between deal with the Arab League, Syria was given 15 days to pull back its troops from the cities that were the focus of anti-government protests, release detainees, allow free movement for observers and media, and negotiate with the opposition.
The pan-Arab body under the deal was to send 500 members of human rights groups, media representatives and military observers to Syria to monitor the situation on the ground and help implement the peace plan.
A fresh deadline to end the bloodshed or face sanctions expired on Saturday, with no compliance from President Bashar al-Assad's security forces. Rights groups reported 20 people killed in Syrian violence Saturday and Sunday.
With the peace deal in tatters, the Arab League has already suspended Syria from the 22-member bloc.
An Arab League source told AFP that the sanctions would not come into effect automatically and that the Arab body would hold further talks to discuss the implementation of sanctions. AGENCIES