"Friends of Syria" to discuss peace proposal in Amman talks
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague will be present at the talks
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The core ministerial members of the “Friends of Syria” group is due to meet in Amman on Wednesday, in a bid to put forward a solution that will bring the ongoing violence in Syria to an end, officials said.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Tuesday that the conference, slated to open Wednesday evening, is part of Jordan’s efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Amman on Wednesday for the discussion, as part of his fourth regional visit since taking office, US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell announced last week.
“The secretary looks forward to attending,” Ventrell added, noting that “a substantial amount of America’s diplomatic energy is focused on this”.
Kerry will meet with Judeh and counterparts from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Britain, France, Turkey, Germany and Italy.
Speaking to The Jordan Times last week, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Sabah Al Rafei said the Friends of Syria’s latest meet is a continuation of previous meetings held in Istanbul and Doha, and will give the attending foreign ministers the chance to coordinate their stances on the Syrian crisis, in preparation for the planned US-Russian international conference on the civil war expected to be held in June.
On Tuesday, Judeh reiterated the Kingdom’s stance on the Syrian crisis, calling it “clear and consistent”, underlining Jordan’s desire to secure peace in the country, through political means, that will ensure the unity of Syria and the engagement of all its people in the process.
Speaking at the Strategic Forum for the Gulf and Mediterranean, held at the Dead Sea, Judeh emphasised Jordan’s efforts in trying to end the Syrian conflict, but noted the significant burden that hosting over half-a-million Syrian refugees is placing on the Kingdom’s infrastructure, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
He called on the international community to provide additional financial assistance to Jordan, so that it may provide sufficient humanitarian assistance to those seeking a safe haven within its borders.
Judeh also commented on developments in the Palestinian issue, stressing its centrality, and the need for a just and comprehensive resolution in the region that will guarantee the establishment of a two-state solution and an independent Palestinian state, according to Petra.
Before he leaves for Palestine on Thursday, Ventrell added that Kerry will meet personally with Judeh to discuss regional developments and other issues of mutual concern.
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