"Friends of Syria" Meeting Takes Place in Istanbul
Damascus, April 2 (Xinhua-RHC) On Sunday, representatives from more than 80 countries voiced support for the Syrian opposition when they met in the Turkish city of Istanbul, seeking to mount international pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to stop the year-long violence and agree on a peaceful political transition.
The meeting agreed to recognize the opposition broad-based Syrian National Council (SNC) as a legitimate representative of all Syrians and an umbrella organization for Syrian opposition groups.
The conference also vowed to render all possible assistance, both technical advice and direct support, to a Syria-led political process that is peaceful, orderly and stable. It also agreed to continue and increase, as a matter of urgency, its assistance, including funding and financial support, to meet the needs of the Syrian people. Washington will offer another 12 million U.S. dollars in humanitarian aid for Syria's embattled population, and will also provide communication equipment to help the opposition forces evade government attacks.
Earlier, the UN-AL joint envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan, garnered support for his plan from almost all world leaders, which calls for an end to violence by all parties, a proposal for a cease-fire initiated by the Syrian government, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition. Syria has officially approved the plan but denied to pull troops from restive cities until peace and stability are restored in these areas.