07/23/12: Al Jazeera reports the Syrian government has rejected a call by the Arab League for President Bashar al-Assad to give up power. “We are sorry that the Arab League has descended to this level concerning a member state of this institution,” foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said at a media conference on Monday. “This decision only concerns the Syrian people, who are the sole masters of fate of their governments.” The Arab League on Monday called on Assad to swiftly step aside in order to end the fighting that has swept across the country. “There is agreement on the need for the rapid resignation of President Bashar al-Assad,” Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani said. The League also urged the rebel Free Syrian Army to form a transitional government of national unity.