The Foreign Minister represented France at the second International Friends of the Syrian People conference in Istanbul on April 1.
This conference helped broaden the international consensus on ending the crackdown in Syria. It illustrated the steadily growing isolation of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The Istanbul conference reiterated the international community’s condemnation of the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime, which include crimes against humanity.
While reiterating their support for the Arab League initiative and Kofi Annan’s mission, the Friends stressed that the important thing was to set a deadline for Bashar al-Assad’s implementation of the six-point plan. They agreed that should the plan fail, this issue must once again be brought before the Security Council.
To increase international pressure on Damascus, France will host a meeting of the working group on sanctions in the next two weeks. The Istanbul conference gave a new impetus to the process of international support for the Syrian opposition, all of whose components must rally around the Syrian National Council. The national pact adopted by the opposition and presented by the SNC was welcomed by the International Friends of the Syrian People, which urged all forces fighting for democracy in Syria to align themselves with the SNC.
Finally, in view of the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, the Friends reaffirmed their support for the UN to coordinate aid to the Syrian people.
The next conference of the International Friends of the Syrian People will be held in Paris.
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