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Clinton meets Tunisia president after Syria conference

Clinton says 'Friends of Syria' conference was quite successful and is a credit to post-uprising Tunisia

AFP , Saturday 25 Feb 2012
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Tunisia's president on Saturday as she continued a tour of the region following a global meeting on Syria that ratcheted up pressure on Bashar Al-Assad.

At the start of talks with President Moncef Marzouki, Clinton said the "Friends of Syria" meeting of more than 60 foreign ministers in Tunisia had been a success.

"It was quite a successful conference and a great credit to Tunisia, and your words and the prime minister's leadership were a very strong signal," she said.

The meeting issued a declaration calling for an immediate end to violence and for new sanctions on Syria, where monitors say more than 7,600 people have been killed since the uprising against Al-Assad's rule erupted last March.

The group called for Syria's government to "immediately cease all violence" to allow humanitarian access and "committed to take steps to apply and enforce restrictions and sanctions on the regime."

During the meeting Clinton said Assad would pay a "heavy cost" for ignoring the will of the international community.
"The Assad regime has ignored every warning, squandered every opportunity, and broken every agreement," she said.

"Faced with determined protesters demanding their rights and their dignity, the regime is creating an appalling humanitarian disaster."

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