On Sunday, April 1st, Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister, Rafik Abedsalem called on the Syrian government to open humanitarian corridors to speed up aid to Syrians in order to ease their suffering, during the second meeting of “Friends of Syria,” held in Istanbul.
Abdessalem announced that he was renewing the Tunisian government’s solidarity with the Syrian people. He called on all involved parties to resolve the Syrian crisis in way that “preserves the safety and stability of Syria.” He also condemned the “violations of human rights” that the Syrian people are going through.
70 countries attended the Istanbul conference in addition to representatives of the United Nations, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Abdessalem further highlighted the achievements of the first “Friends of Syria” conference held in Tunis last February. The main outcome of the conference was the recognition by many of the governments of nations with representatives present of the Syrian National Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
The first “Friends of Syria” conference was formed by over 60 national governments, both Western and members of the Arab League following the failure of the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution calling on Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to step down after popular protests and a government crackdown which has rocked Syria leading to over 6,000 reported deaths. The failure to pass a Security Council resolution was due to the Security Council vetoes of both Russia and China.