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The Associated Press June 18, 2012, 08:36AM ET

Arab League chief: peacekeepers needed in Syria

The Arab League's secretary general is calling for a peacekeeping force to be deployed to violence-wracked Syria in order to "impose a ceasefire."

Nabil el-Araby said Monday that the mandate for the United Nations observer mission in the country must be changed because it cannot halt the fighting that has killed 14,000 people since the Syrian uprising against President Bashar Assad's autocratic regime began in March 2011.

El-Araby says that such a force should be tasked with keeping the peace and not engage in fighting.

He also urged the U.S. and Russia to find common ground on ways to end the violence in the country.

El-Araby was speaking in Nicosia during an official visit to the east Mediterranean island.

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