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"Friends of Syria" meeting held in Paris

07-07-2012 00:01 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

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The meeting of the "Friends of Syria" group is being held in Paris, to discuss ways of beefing up support for the opposition in Syria. It is the third meeting, following ones in Tunisia and Turkey.

Foreign ministers and delegates from about 50 countries are taking part. However, neither China nor Russia is attending. Both countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council and did not attend either of its meetings. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier criticized the forum, saying it was only seeking to back the "external" Syrian opposition.

China says it backed Russia at the Foreign ministers’ weekend meeting in Geneva, insisting that Syrians must decide how the transition should be carried out, rather than allowing others to decide their fate.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has confirmed a Syrian general, a personal friend of President Bashar al-Assad, has defected and is on his way to Paris. Manaf Tlas, a brigade commander in Syria’s Republican Guard fled to Turkey this week. An opposition source said he has no plans to attend the Paris meeting.

France's President Francois Hollande (C) delivers a speech during the third
meeting of the "Friends of Syria" group in Paris July 6, 2012.

France's President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton (2nd L), as German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (L) looks
on, during the third meeting of the "Friends of Syria" group in Paris July 6, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the third meeting of the "Friends
of Syria" group in Paris July 6, 2012.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CNTV.CN

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