The Friends of Syria meeting began in Tunis, Tunisia on Friday. The group of European and Arab League nations, as well as the United States, met to finalize a peace accord proposal to end the bloody crackdown against protestors and dissidents in Syria.
1) The proposal is being described as both an ultimatum and a stern warning. The group of 50 nations is demanding that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad agree to an immediate ceasefire and to allow humanitarian aid to the embattled city of Homs. The Friends of Syria estimates that once the violence stops, aid can be distributed in Homs and other areas under siege within 48 hours.
If he doesn't agree to the plan, Assad will face consequences that are yet to be determined.
2) UK foreign secretary William Hague said that Britain is now officially recognizing the Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition group as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.'
We will intensify our links with the opposition, Hague said in Tunis
3) In the peace accords fail -- as they have done time and again during the past 10 months -- the opposition wants to be prepared. The SNC is asking the Friends of Syria to supply the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with guns.
If the regime fails to accept the terms of the political initiative outlined by the Arab League and end violence against citizens, the Friends of Syria should not constrain individual countries from aiding the Syrian opposition by means of military advisers, training and provision of arms to defend themselves, the SNC said in a statement.
The Free Syrian Army, a rebel group made up primarily of defected Syrian soldiers, has been defending residents in Homs. But, in what became her final report from Syria, journalist Marie Colvin reported that the FSA's supplies and arms are dwindling, while the Syrian government forces are getting stronger and more ferocious.
An Arab League official told Reuters that arming the FSA was an unlikely move. Support will instead be financial, technical and humanitarian.
4) An SNC spokesperson said that the opposition party has already received bullet-proof jackets, night-vision goggles and communication equipment from an unnamed source. This equipment will be given to the Free Syrian Army.
Additionally, there are reports that Western officials are purposefully ignoring weapons purchases by Syrian exiles, and allowing light arms and other equipment to be smuggled into the country. The SNC is now trying to figure out how to get large munitions, such as anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, to the Free Syrian Army.
5) Back in Tunis, hundreds of Assad supporters attempted to storm the Palace Hotel, where the Friends of Syria meeting is taking place, according to Reuters. The group, which arrived by bus, made it past the hotel's gates but were kept out of the building by hotel security.