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|Friends of Syria talks look to Turkey||| Print ||
|Written by Dino Pasalic|
|Friday, 23 March 2012 15:02|
The next Friends of Syria talks in Istanbul, which will include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will bring expectations for an expanded Turkish role in ending Syria's state violence.
The meetings slated for April 1 come after initial talks were held last month in Tunis between 60 countries including Turkey and several Western and Arab nations.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, told the Associated Press “the new meeting will build on efforts in Tunis to end the violence, enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and launch a political process aimed at replacing President Bashar al-Assad.”
"We look forward to the agenda that the Turkish government will establish to deepen and broaden the consensus about the way forward, and we expect that the UN will also be represented in those meetings," Nuland said, according to the AP.
English Language spokesperson for activist network Local Coordination Committees of Syria, Rafif Jouejati told thedailyplanet.com that Turkey could play a crucial role in ending the violence in Syria.
“Potentially Turkey will set up a buffer zone inside Syrian territory and so if the Turkish government makes that announcement, that will definitely be a step forward.”
A CBC article says that over 8,000 people have been killed in Syria during the last year, since the revolt began.
The same article says that at least 500 children have died during the conflict.
The European Union imposed new sanctions today, adding 12 people to the current list that includes President al-Assad.
One of those new additions is al-Assad’s wife, Asma al-Assad.
Although EU foreign ministers have frozen her assets and imposed a travel ban, the British-born Syrian is still able to travel to the UK.
Jouejati spoke with thedailyplanet.com about what can be expected from next month's Friends of Syria meetings.
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