25 February 2012 6:28 pm | | 1


Share     Share       Share     Share  

As the inaugural summit of the Friends of Syria conference drew to a close, Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs Rafik Abdessalam took to the stage to address reporters’ inquiries regarding the day’s developments.

Abdessalam confirmed that the various international delegations – hailing from over 70 different countries – were able to reach a consensus that the primary goal of this contact group is to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria and help the Syrian people to realize an independent, democratic system of governance.  He added that the group would like to defer to the authority of the Arab League in addressing this matter.

Earlier in the conference, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had shared Abdessalam’s forthcoming conclusions. “Today the Friends of the Syrian People sent a strong and unified message that the Assad regime’s escalating violence is an affront to the international community, a threat to regional security, and a great violation of Universal Human Rights,” said Clinton.  In consequence, she emphasized the urgency for the violence in Syria to end and give way to a democratic transition.

“It is very symbolic that the conference is taking place here in Tunisia, the birthplace of the revolution that has changed the political map of the region,” stated Rafik Abdessalam, reiterating Tunisia’s new foreign policy, perceived as revolutionary.

Though he confirmed that humanitarian, emergency assistance would be provided to Syrian humanitarian aid groups, when asked about the provision of military support Abdessalam was quick to discount this option as ill-conceived. “We have had enough failed military intervention experiences, and we don’t want to repeat them…We consider the smuggling of arms in Syria as a serious threat to the stability and security in Syria.” he stated.

During the summit, Clinton had detailed a US aid package that would address the mounting humanitarian crisis in Syria.  ”Today I announce that the United States is providing $10 million to quickly scale up humanitarian efforts including support for the thousands of refugees who are being displaced from their homes,” she declared.

Regarding the recognition to the Syrian National Council (SNC) – a branch of Syria’s political opposition operating primarily in exile – Abdessalam confirmed that the delegations of the summit had reached an agreement to recognize the SNC as an official representative of the Syrian people. However, he clarified that this did not mean that it is the country’s sole representative – referring to the need to incorporate disparate opposition groups that represent Syria’s minorities under the SNC’s umbrella.

The Friends of Syria conference is part of a recent diplomatic coup against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  The day before the summit, Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), was named UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria, which was well received by many key players in the push to bring resolution to the Syrian revolution.  ”I applaud the selection of Kofi Annan as a special envoy from both the United Nations and the Arab League. He will seek to advance the positions in the Arab League transition plan and the UN General Assembly’s resolution,” said Clinton.

Annan’s appointment comes in the wake of China and Russia’s blockage of a UN Security council motion that would have condemned the violence perpetrated by the al-Assad regime.  Abdessalam made overtures to the Chinese and the Russians, stating that both countries remain friends of the people of the Arab world, yet he expressed hope that the Friends of Syria would soon witness a shift in Moscow and Beijing’s current policy regarding the Syrian conflict.  ”We hope to see a change in the Russian and Chinese’s position. At first the Russian regime adopted a rigid standpoint towards the Libyan crisis, which they later changed,” he stated.

Share     Share       Share     Share  

  From the same category

            

UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Tunisia Returns Stolen Ancient Artifact to Algeria

Switzerland to Return $40 Million in Ben Ali Assets to Tunisia

Q & A: Issandr El Amrani on Tunisia’s Place in North Africa

            

Libya Border Crossing Reopens After Protests

U.S. to Provide Tunisia with $500 Million in Loan Guarantees

Prime Minister Jomaa Talks Economy, Security During U.S. Trip

Strikes, Protests Paralyze Tunisia-Libya Border Town

            

Israelis Excluded from Tunisia’s Push for Tourists

U.S. State Department Lifts Tunisia Travel Warning

Ben Ali Son-in-Law’s Asylum in Seychelles Extended

Tunisian Leaders Condemn Death Sentence for 529 Muslim Brotherhood Supporters in Egypt


Leave Feedback


  Follow us

Connect on YouTube Connect on Google+ Connect to itunes Subscribe via RSS Feed



  Latest Videos


Play Video

Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte, the northernmost city in Africa, hosted the fourth round of the...

Play Video

Endangered Whale Brought Ashore in Tunis Suburb

Onlookers in the popular tourist spot of Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis,...

Play Video

'Kima Enti:' Mixing Tunisian Traditions With Modern Design

"Kima Enti" is a hand-made art and design project launched by independent...

Play Video

One-Year Anniversary of Chokri Belaid's Death

On February 6, 2014, family and supporters of slain Tunisian politician Chokri...

Play Video

Klay BBJ explains his arrest

Tunisia Live's Nissaf Slama interviews rapper Klay BBJ on his music, arrest,...



Tabbed Structure - Regular
UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize...
(1164 Views)
Tunisia Returns Stolen Ancient Artifact to Algeria...
(1029 Views)
Unemployed Tunisians Risk Their Lives to Build Future...
(1000 Views)
Switzerland to Return $40 Million in Ben Ali...
(984 Views)
Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte...
(733 Views)
Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution...
(717 Views)
Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis...
(645 Views)
NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral...
(642 Views)
Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for...
(625 Views)
 
New Areas Around Chaambi Declared Military Zones...
Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis...
NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral Law...
Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte...
Unemployed Tunisians Risk Their Lives to Build Future in Europe...
Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for Ben Ali Officials...
Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution Killings Case...
UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize...
Tunisia Returns Stolen Ancient Artifact to Algeria...