The Arab League voted today to suspend Syria's membership over its failure to stop a violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters. The move will increase the international pressure on President Bashar Assad.
The League said the suspension will remain in place until the Syrian government implements an Arab deal to end the violence, and called for sanctions and transition talks with the opposition.
Syria's representative to the Arab League said the decision to suspend Damascus violated the organization's charter and showed it was "serving a Western and American agenda," Reuters reported.
President Obama praised the decision to suspend Syria. In a written statement issued in Hawaii, where he is hosting an Asia-Pacific summit, Obama said: "I applaud the important decisions taken by the Arab League today, including the suspension of Syria's membership."
According to AP, "the president said the Arab League has shown leadership in its effort to end the 8-month-old crisis and hold the Syrian government accountable."