News / Middle East

In Tunis, Calls for Syrian Aid Corridor

Turkey's FM Ahmet Davutoglu (L) confers with United Arab Emirates' (UAE) FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan during the Friends of Syria Conference in Tunis, February 24, 2012
Turkey's FM Ahmet Davutoglu (L) confers with United Arab Emirates' (UAE) FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan during the Friends of Syria Conference in Tunis, February 24, 2012
Al Pessin

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 this 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.

Heard here through an interpreter, he called for the help of Syria's main international supporters, who vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution.

“The Russians and the Chinese who have influence on the Syrian leadership [should] urge it not to be stubborn and obstinate by continuing a policy that will only lead to the vandalism and destruction of Syria,” Marzouki said.

The chairman of the Arab League Council of Ministers, Hamad bin Muhammad al Thani of Qatar, called for the formation of an Arab and International force to secure humanitarian aid corridors, but other participants indicated they do not want a confrontation with the Syrian military.

The conference is expected to call on the Assad regime to allow the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid.

In remarks prepared for delivery in the conference's closed session, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the Arab League transition plan for Syria, which President Assad has ignored, and called for a negotiated political settlement.

She also announced an additional $10 million of funding to help Syrians who have fled the fighting. She said if President Assad does not allow aid to get through, he will have even more blood on his hands, and so will governments that support him.

The Friends of Syria plan to continue their effort, including preparations for a future democratic Syria, with a second meeting planned for Turkey next month, and another in France in April.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid