Friends of Syria pledge cash

The Friends of Syria meeting ended in Turkey with the international community pledging millions of dollars of aid for the Syrian rebels.

Assad will be judged by 'deeds not promises'

The Friends of Syria meeting in Turkey has made its concluding statement with the starkest warning yet for President Assad. It said:

  • 83 countries were now part of the Group of Friends of the Syrian people
  • Since the announcement of acceptance of the peace dead on the 27th March violence by the regime has not ceased.
  • The Syrian National Council (SNC) is a "legitimate representative of all Syrians" and an umbrella opposition group
  • Citizens of Syria are appealed to "not be part of the atrocities committed by the regime."
  • The International community is "strongly urged" to impose sanctions; particularly on arms.
  • The International community will provide "all possible assistance" to the SNC's efforts to political transition.

Clinton: Assad must go

The US Secretary of State made her strongest statement yet on the future of Syria's leader President Bashar al - Assad.

She said it was time for the leader to leave the country and allow the people of Syria to elect their own leader.

Her comments come as the opposition Syrian National Council announced it would pay salaries to soldiers who defect from the government's army.

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Shelling and protests provide backdrop to Syria talks

Protests continued in the city of Idlib against the Assad regime
Protests continued in the city of Idlib against the Assad regime in Syria yesterday, according to activists Credit: (AP Photo/Local Coordination Committees in Syria

Activists say another twelve people were killed in the Syrian city of Homs yesterday, as the Syrian government continued to defy the ceasefire demands of the international community.

Despite the threat of attacks protesters turned out to support the 'Friends of Syria' talks in a number of cities.

'Friends of Syria should act without delay'

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that the international community would not allow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to "misuse another opportunity." He said the current efforts to end the conflict there represented a final chance for the regime.

Davutoglu told a news conference that the international community had been too slow in responding to the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s and it should now act decisively and without delay.

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Friends of Syria to say Annan's peace plan not open-ended

A communique expected from the Friends of Syria in Istanbul is expected to give full support to U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's peace mission while stressing that it cannot be open-ended.

The communique would also recognise the legitimacy of steps taken by the Syrian people to defend themselves.

Conference sources have said Gulf Arab states were ready to funnel millions of dollars through the opposition Syrian National Council to pay recruits who defect from Assad's forces to join the rebel Free Syrian Army.

UK to double non-lethal help for Syrian resistance

Britain has announced a doubling of non-lethal help for the Syrian resistance, a tactic already adopted by the US and one that Turkey has said it will match. Some Gulf Arab nations said more backing should be given to the Syrian Free Army to protect civilians from Assad's crackdown on the revolt.

Hague said that participants in the Istanbul meeting were discussing what form financing for the opposition should take, adding it was undecided whether it would be a "trust fund", as suggested by some governments.

The British minister noted the efforts by the opposition Syrian National Council to become a more open and inclusive group, saying it had "done better in recent days".

Hague urges Assad to implement Annan plan

The Assad regime has said they accepted the Annan plan but they haven't done anything about it. The fighting continues.

Increased financial support for the opposition will be one of the consequences of the Assad regime playing for time in implementing the Annan proposals.

One of the messages from this (Friends of Syria) conference is that it will be important to implement the Annan plan, and there isn't an indefinite amount of time to do that before we here, the Friends of Syria, need to go back to the United Nations Security Council or intensify funding for the Syrian opposition.

We do need the Assad regime to take action not just words. That does not mean that today we will set an expiry date, but it does depend what they do on the ground.

– Foreign Secretary William Hague
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