Peru's Prime Minister Rafael Roncagliolo (C) speaks at a meeting held in the framework of ASPA
Peru's Prime Minister Rafael Roncagliolo (C) speaks during the opening of the Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting held in the framework of the Summit of South American and Arab Countries, or ASPA, in Lima. © Ernesto Benavides - AFP
Peru's Prime Minister Rafael Roncagliolo (C) speaks at a meeting held in the framework of ASPA
AFP
Last updated: October 1, 2012

Arab League leader seeks Latin American cooperation on Syria

The Arab League Monday urged nations of the Middle East and Latin America to work together toward resolving the Syria crisis.

"Syria is going through an asphyxiating crisis, and regrettably no initiative to find a solution has been successful so far," Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said.

"We have to reach a resolution as quickly as possible" to the crisis, he said here at the third summit of South American and Arab countries (ASPA).

The two-day meeting, which wraps up in Lima on Tuesday, has brought together leaders of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Arab League, with more than 30 nations represented in all.

A growing humanitarian crisis caused by the country's bloody 18-month conflict that has claimed some 30,000 lives in Syria.

According to figures released by the United Nations on Monday, there were 75,000 new Syrian refugees last month, with the total number projected to rise as high as 710,000 by the end of the year.

The summit focuses primarily on issues related to political and economic cooperation between the two regions.

Al-Arabi also spoke on the Palestinian situation, expressing regret that "the efforts to achieve peace in the region remain frozen" by inaction within the United Nations Security Council.

"We hope that this situation changes in order to bring an end to this problem," the Egyptian diplomat said.

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