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Istanbul to host second "Friends of Syria" conference

03-14-2012 09:17 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

ISTANBUL, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Turkey said on Tuesday that Istanbul will host a second "Friends of Syria" conference on April 2 in an attempt to pressure the Syrian government to stop its crackdown on opponents.

The announcement was made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Turkish parliament in Ankara.

Works have been under way for the second "Friends of Syria" conference that would take place in Istanbul on April 2, he added.

Erdogan called on the international community and international organizations to "take sincere steps" for Syria.

He said that Turkey had been continuing its international efforts for ending the bloodshed in Syria.

At his Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said that he had a meeting with UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan on Monday.

Erdogan said that he expressed his full support to Annan in the meeting. "I also told him that violence must end in Syria, humanitarian access must be secured, security forces should withdraw from provinces and the international community should work cooperatively for political transition process," he said.

He noted that Annan's mission should not be misused by the regime.

The Istanbul meeting will follow a first "Friends of Syria" conference in Tunis on February 24 which was attended by leading officials from Western and Arab countries.

Syrian major opposition National Council chairman Burhan Ghalioun said that Syrian army killed its own people, stating that if the Syrian administration did not end violence, they would impose serious sanctions.

UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan met Burhan Ghalioun in Ankara on Tuesday.

Ghalioun said that Annan and opposition representatives agreed that there was need for a solution regarding the situation in Syria as soon as possible.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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