Syria deadline passes with no response

An Arab League deadline served on Syria to agree to an observer mission or avoid crippling sanctions passed on Friday without a response from Damascus, a League source told AFP.

"Until now, there has been no response from the Syrian government," the source said after the 1 pm (1100 GMT) deadline.

Meanwhile, Turkey said on Friday it could tolerate no more bloodshed in Syria and it was ready to take action with Arab countries if President Bashar Al Assad failed to take steps towards ending the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference that he hoped the Syrian government would give a positive response to Arab League plan on resolving the conflict.

"If it doesn't, there are steps we can take in consultation with the Arab League," he said. "I want to say clearly we have no more tolerance for the bloodshed in Syria. The attitude of friendly and fraternal countries on this subject is clear".

The Arab League has set a Friday deadline for Syria to agree to comply or else face sanctions, including halting flights, curbing trade and stopping deals with the central bank.

Davutoglu said he was ready to attend a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that could take place on Sunday, depending on Syria's response. He was also consultating with the European Union, NATO and UN Security Council members.

Davutoglu also held talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who had attended a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Thursday.

Speaking alongside the Turkish minister, Judeh said he hoped Syria would sign a protocol to accept observers as a first step to ending the violence that has gripped the country for eight months.

"This is the collective wish of the Arab world and if they don't, God forbid, we have to meet again," he said.

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