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Syria’s Assad Dismisses Arab League’s Peace Plan

January 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT

GWEN IFILL: Ten months after it began, the conflict in Syria continues unabated. An anti-government group reported 23 more people were killed today.

Ray Suarez has more on developments in Syria and the Arab world’s search for an end to the violence.

RAY SUAREZ: The Syrian government today four rejected a peace plan adopted at this Arab League meeting yesterday in Cairo. The plan called for forming a unity government in Syria within two months that would be followed by supervised parliamentary and presidential elections, and President Bashar al-Assad would hand over his powers to the country’s vice president during the transition period. The European Union endorsed the plan today, and so did the U.S. State Department.

VICTORIA NULAND, State Department spokeswoman: They made a concrete proposal in line with the leadership that they have been showing on the Syria issue for many weeks now about how this could happen. Regrettably, Assad rejected it, almost before the ink was dry. And this just speaks again to the fact that he’s thinking about himself and his cronies, not about his people.

RAY SUAREZ: The Arab League also agreed to extend its observer mission in Syria for another month. But the monitor’s presence has been criticized for failing to stop the Syrian government’s violent campaign against protesters.

Meanwhile in Syria, this amateur video showed a mass gathering today in Duma just outside Damascus. Thousands turned out to mourn nearly a dozen residents killed in clashes over the weekend.