Clinton to Host Talks on Syria

Posted September 28th, 2012 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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Officials from several Western nations and their allies will meet to discuss coordination efforts among Syria's fractured opposition.

Friday's ad-hoc meeting of selected members of the Friends of Syria group, is hosted by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and will include ministers from more than 20 nations and representatives from local revolutionary councils.

A senior State Department official said the meeting, which takes place on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, will focus on support to the Syrian opposition, humanitarian assistance and international pressure on the Syrian regime.

The official says the discussions will include unilateral measures which can be taken on the regime including the possibility of sanctions.

The meeting comes a day after the U.N. Refugee agency said up to 700,000 Syrians could flee the conflict-ravaged country by the end of the year.

The UNHCR issued an appeal for nearly $500 million in aid to help “rapidly increasing” numbers of refugees fleeing to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy fighting Friday in several parts of the country including, Deir Ezzor, Dera'a, Hama, and in the capital, Damascus.