Representatives of about 70 countries and organizations are meeting in Tunis to coordinate international efforts to deliver humanitarian relief and political change to Syria. At the opening session, officials called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end the violence and allow humanitarian aid to be delivered.
Tunisia’s foreign minster, Rafik Abdessalem, welcomed the delegates at the hastily-called meeting, designed to further increase pressure on the Syrian regime.
Representatives from entities as varied as the United States, Yemen and the Holy See were expected to agree to a plan involving humanitarian aid, pressure through sanctions and diplomatic isolation, and support for the Syrian opposition.
Tunisia’s new president, Moncef Marzouki, said there should be no armed foreign intervention, but he called for intensified efforts to convince President Assad to end the bombardment of opposition supporters and step down.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, representing the U.S. at the conference, called for a negotiated political settlement and announced an additional $10 million of funding to help Syrians who have fled the fighting.
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