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Paris Urges Quick Start for Arab Observer Mission to Syria

France on Monday urged Syria to allow an Arab League observer mission to start its work monitoring the bloody conflict there as quickly as possible.

"We regret there have been 30 more deaths in the past two days. It's urgent," a foreign ministry spokesman said, shortly after Damascus agreed to accept Arab monitors.

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Iraq to Launch Mediation to End Syria Crisis

Baghdad's foreign minister will lead an Iraqi initiative to end months of unrest in Syria by holding talks with the Damascus regime, opposition groups and the Arab League, an Iraqi official said Sunday.

Iraq is trying to mediate an end to nine months of bloody unrest in Syria where the U.N. estimates that more than 5,000 people have been killed in a regime crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

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West Demands Changes to Russia's Syria U.N. Resolution

France on Friday attacked Russia's proposed U.N. Security Council resolution on the Syrian crisis as "totally unbalanced" and no immediate talks were called on the measure.

Russia, having blocked U.N. action on Syria for months, surprised other members of the 15-nation council on Thursday by putting forward a draft resolution which condemns the violence by all sides in Syria.

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New Tunisian President Opposes Foreign Intervention in Syria

Tunisia's new President Moncef Marzouki said in an interview aired on Friday he was against foreign intervention in Syria, where thousands have been killed in months of anti-regime protests.

"Of course I am opposed to foreign intervention in Syria," he told France 24 in his first comments on the crisis in Syria since taking office Tuesday, after the first elections since the Arab Spring was unleashed in his country.

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Assad's Deputy Invited to Moscow for 'Serious' Talks

Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa is to hold talks with Russian officials in Moscow in a bid to defuse the crisis in his country, Russian news agencies quoted a Kremlin source as saying Friday.

"He is to be received in Moscow for a serious conversation," said the source, who was not identified. "This is our contribution to a solution to the crisis, which of course is worrying us."

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Top Activist Urges Syria Boycott, Pressure on Russia

A leading Syrian human rights activist on Thursday urged the international community to cut diplomatic ties with Damascus and up pressure on Russia to stop blocking U.N. action against the regime there.

"So far 5,000 people have been killed in Syria, among them are 277 children, 159 women and a lot of people were killed under torture. All this is happening in cold blood and the international community is watching and doing nothing," Rami Abdul Rahman, founder of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday on the sidelines of a European Union conference in Warsaw.

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Man Hurt as Syrian 'Gunmen' Fire on Turkish Travelers

Armed men fired on the cars of two Turks near the Syrian city of Idlib, slightly injuring one of them, Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.

Mehmet Akinay and Nesim Zeytinci were driving to Saudi Arabia through Syria in cars with non-Turkish license plates when they came under fire from gunmen in civilian clothes 15 kilometers from Idlib, Anatolia said.

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Paris: Syria Must Respect Lebanon Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity

France on Thursday called on Syria to “respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, one day after a Syrian patrol infiltrated the Lebanese town of Arsal.

“If confirmed, this incident would once again highlight the threat the Syrian regime’s oppressive policy poses to the stability of the region,” French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

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Syrian Opposition to Meet in Tunisia on Friday

The first congress of the Syrian National Council, the opposition's most representative grouping, will open in the Tunisian capital on Friday, an official said.

The three-day meeting will be attended by SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun and about 200 other members, the outfit's Tunis representative Abdullah Terkmani said on Wednesday.

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U.S.: Syrian Regime is 'Dead Men Walking'

The United States portrayed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime as "dead men walking" on Wednesday, and urged Russia, China and India to put politics aside to stand with the West on action against the regime.

"Our view is that this regime is the equivalent of dead men walking," State Department special coordinator on Middle East affairs Frederic Hof told U.S. lawmakers in a hearing on U.S. policy toward Damascus.

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