‘Friends of Syria’ to establish forum, will meet in Istanbul next month
TUNIS - Hürriyet Daily News
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at her hotel in Tunis February 24, 2012. REUTERS photoGovernments attending the “Friends of Syria” conference in Tunis have neared an agreement on a road map for Syria, with a draft communiqué currently being shaped at the meeting emphasizing the humanitarian situation on the ground.
The Istanbul-based Syrian National Council stands to gain the most from the conference, which is not being attended by Russia or China.
According to the draft that is being circulated, the council is recognized as “a legitimate representative of the Syrian people” – with emphasis on the “a” word.
According to the draft, the “Friends of Syria” will hold their next meeting in March in Istanbul. A third meeting will probably be held in Paris at a yet-unspecified date.
The draft also calls for the establishment of a “Syrian Humanitarian Forum” to focus on the needs of the civilian population. This sub-group will hold its first meeting March 5 in Cairo as of 4:50 p.m. Istanbul time.
The text calls for the establishment of a fund which will help gather money for humanitarian needs in Syria, while participants of the conference also called on Syria to allow “humanitarian access” into conflict-hit cities and towns.
Qatar also called for Arab countries to send an “Arab Peace Force” to Syria.