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West and Arab countries step up pressure on Syria

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West and Arab countries step up pressure on Syria

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The Arab League is stepping up pressure on Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power as it prepares for a meeting of Friends of Syria in Tunisia on Friday. Hopes are being pinned on the gathering which Washington says shows Assad is becoming increasingly isolated.

Arab League General-Secretary, Nabil el-Araby said: “The (meeting in Tunisia) will include a large number of countries and the goal of this meeting is to put extra pressure on Syria. Also, there are indicators coming from China, in particular, and to a certain extent from Russia that there maybe a change in (their) position.”

Despite the continued fighting, Assad is still forging ahead with a referendum on Sunday for a new constitution which should lead to elections. A move the opposition has dismissed as a joke.

Meanwhile as conditions become desperate for civilians running out of food and essentials, the International Committee of the Red Cross says it is negotiating with the government and opposition fighters to try and secure a ceasefire.