By Hend Hassassi | Feb 13 2012Arab League , Bashar Assad , Friends of Syria , Hillary Clinton , Nicolas Sarkozy ,
The Friends of Syria is a group of nations proposed by France and the United States as a response to Russia and Chinaâ€™s veto of the United Nationsâ€™ resolution regarding the unrest in Syria on February 4.
The announcement came at a meeting of Arab League ministers in Cairo on February 12, held to discuss new diplomatic efforts to confront the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
â€œTunisia strongly condemns the violence and violationsÂ committedÂ against Syrian civilians,â€ said Abdessalem to the local press.
Arab League ministers embraced this initiativeÂ at yesterday’s meeting, which was devoted to monitoringÂ the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.
The announcement was particularly welcomed by two Arab countries, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and by the United Kingdomâ€™s representative, Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Abdessalem asserted that this initiative would bring together all nations intent on seeing a resolution to the Syrian crisis. China and Russia are expected to participate in the event as well.
â€œThe Syrian people deserve freedom as much as their brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other Arab states that witnessed major political change,â€ Adessalam told ministers.
In a statement issued by the French Presidential Office on February 5, President Nicolas Sarkozy denounced the Russian and Chinese veto and added that Paris had been consulting Arab and European countries to create Friends of Syria.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her disappointment and echoed Sarkozyâ€™s stanceÂ on February 5, calling for the establishment of a group that would unite and rally against Bashar al-Assadâ€™s regime.
According to Rianovosti, though, Alexander Lukashevich, spokesman of theÂ Russian Foreign Ministry, said on February 13 that â€œMoscow does not consider the U.S-backed ‘Friends of Syria’ legitimate.â€