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Istanbul meeting on Syria failed: official daily

Al-Baath newspaper, mouthpiece of Al-Assad's ruling party, says Friends of Syria conference is a failure for interventionist forces seeking to sow discord

AFP, Monday 2 Apr 2012
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Views: 683

A Syrian government newspaper said on Monday that a weekend meeting in Istanbul of what it called the "Enemies of Syria" was a failure for those seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

"Despite all the hype, the conference of the 'Enemies of Syria' produced only meagre results... showing it was unable to shake Syrians' rejection of foreign intervention," said Al-Baath newspaper, mouthpiece of Assad's ruling party by the same name.

Under the headline "Another Failure," it said "the participants will eventually recognise that the resistance of the Syrians, the (government's pledged) reforms and the double veto by Russia and China... have allowed Syria to overcome the crisis and win the battle."

Al-Baath said the meeting was a forum for "oil sheikhs" and "aggressive speeches inciting the bloodshed and violence against Syria," referring to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which advocate arming the rebels and call for Assad to quit.

Tishrin, another government newspaper, also singled out Gulf Arab leaders for criticism.

"The meeting of the 'Enemies of Syria'..., where the oil emirates were asked to provide arms and money to terrorist groups, showed the level of commitment from foreign countries to stir up" discord in the country, said Tishrin.

"For five decades, the Gulf emirates have never supported the Syrians in their confrontation with the Zionist enemy (Israel), but all participants came together to work in public against the interests of Syrians."

Despite a growing international outcry and numerous rounds of sanctions, Assad's forces are pressing on with a campaign to crush a popular uprising that the UN says has killed at least 9,000 in the past year.

Russia, a Soviet era ally of the Assad regime, and China have used their veto powers against two UN Security Council resolutions condemning the crackdown.

Western and Arab nations participating in the "Friends of Syria" meeting in Istanbul called Sunday for Assad to be given a deadline to meet the terms of international peacebroker Kofi Annan's plan to end the violence.

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