“Friends of Syria” conference rally for action in Syria
World leaders from more than 70 nations have met in Tunisia on Friday at the first “Friends of Syria” conference to speak with opposition leaders via video-link to present a course of action for Syria’s fight for human rights.
BBC News reported that the US, UK, France, and Turkey were just a few that were present at the Arab organized conference. However, China and Russia, vital allies of Syria who prevented the UN resolutions against Damascus from passing, did not attend. Syrian TV has networked the conference as “symbols of colonialism” and those in attendance are “historic enemies of the Arabs.”
The Syrian opposition is asking for the permission to import weapons for rebel fighters in order to execute its plan for transition against the government currently led by President Bashar al-Assad. U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton predicted on Thursday that opposition forces will become “increasingly capable” of rebelling against Assad’s government.
According to The Washington Post, the United Nations is expected to approve a draft that calls on peacekeeping forces to begin planning for an international rebuilding assistance once Assad resigns and the violence ceases. However, Assad’s reluctance to comply with international economic and diplomatic pressures instills concern within some government participants that the conference’s legitimate plan for transition is too far-fetched.
Reuters news agency reported that pro-Assad protesters stormed through the gates of the Palace hotel on Friday where the conference was meeting. They were eventually held back by a security cordon.
Many Arab countries in the region are advocating for more to be done to crack down on Syria’s situation.
“If the regime fails to accept the terms of the political initiative outlined by the Arab League and end violence against citizens, the Friends of Syria should not constrain individual countries from aiding the Syrian opposition by means of military advisers, training and provision of arms to defend themselves,” Syrian National Council said.
Over 7,000 people are said to have died, according to activists, within the 11-month uprising.