Friends Of Syria Conference

April 1, 2012 by staff 

Friends Of Syria Conference, Dozens of representatives from Western and Arab countries were gathering for talks Sunday in Istanbul aimed at pressuring Damascus to implement a peace plan by Kofi Annan to stop bloodshed in Syria.

The second conference of the “Friends of Syria” was preceded by an international chorus of calls for President Bashar al-Assad to immediately set in motion the plan which he accepted Tuesday, without halting shelling of opposition strongholds.

“We expect him to implement this plan immediately,” a spokesman for Annan, the author of the six-point peace plan, said Friday.

The regime declared on Saturday it had defeated those seeking to bring it down while reiterating support for Annan’s plan.

But troops reportedly continued shelling rebels in the city of Homs and foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi said they would only draw back from urban areas once the security situation is stable.

On Sunday, more than 70 representatives will seek new ways to ensure that Assad delivers on his promises, while they discuss with the main opposition Syrian National Council at the conference how to provide non-lethal aid to rebels.

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