Nabil al-Arabi
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Arab League leader Nabil al-Arabi: Syria must behave

30 November 2011 Last updated at 08:09 GMT

The secretary general of the Arab League has said its approval of unprecedented sanctions has sent a very serious political message to Syria.

Nabil al-Arabi told the BBC that the Syrian government could not carry on as if it was business as usual.

Speaking to the BBC's Lyse Doucet at the group's headquarters in Cairo, Mr Arabi said the Arab League had agreed to sanctions "with a heavy heart".

The UN estimates that more than 3,500 people have died during anti-government protests in Syria that are now entering a ninth month.