Middle East

Media on Friends of Syria meeting

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the conference
Image caption US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among the attendees

Middle Eastern and Turkish media express a variety of views on the outcome of the weekend meeting of countries backing political change in Syria, with some hailing it as a success and others expressing disappointment.

A writer in a Qatari paper says that the recognition of the opposition Syrian National Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people at the gathering ''means the beginning of the end of the Syrian regime".

However, a Turkish commentator says the 'Friends of the Syrian People summit in Istanbul disappointed anyone who had hoped it would lead to the creation of a humanitarian aid corridor.

Papers in Syria dismissed the event as a gathering of Syrian enemies.

Editorial in Qatar's Al-Rayah

The regime is very mistaken if it continues to disregard the will of the international community... as the consensus to support the demands of the Syrian people that was agreed upon at the Istanbul conference and the recognition of the National Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, means the beginning of the end of the Syrian regime.

Tariq al-Hamid in the pan-Arab Al-Sharq al-Awsat

The Friends of Syria conference yesterday can be considered a starting point to respond to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his soldiers' crimes. The conference also gave a clear message that Assad's departure is inevitable.

Yusuf al-Kuwaylit in Saudi Arabia's Saudi Al-Riyadh

The least that was expected from the gathering was the international recognition of the Syrian National Council, the expulsion of ambassadors, economic sanctions and arming of the opposition. These are legitimate demands in light of the continuation of the killings.

Asli Aydintasbas in Turkey's Milliyet

Those in the opposition who want a buffer zone or a humanitarian aid corridor did not get what they hoped for. The most important outcome of the Istanbul summit was the support given to former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's diplomatic initiative.

Editorial in the United Arab Emirates' The National

The meeting recognised the Syrian National Council as the "legitimate representative" of the opposition. The label only partially masks the fact that opposition divisions are deepening, rival factions are splintering and no single "opposition" speaks for the Syrian people. By propping up one group without pressuring it to include other forces, the international community may, unwittingly, be deepening Syria's crisis.

Abd-al-Ila Bilkiziz in United Arab Emirates' Al-Khalij

It seems the internal opposition has the political courage to initiate a programme for a political settlement and national reconciliation and block the road to civil war, while the external leadership continues with calls for foreign intervention and armed intifadah.

Abdulhamit Bilici in Turkey's Zaman

While it took things further than the previous meeting in Tunisia, decisions to end the bloodshed did not come out of the Istanbul Summit either.

Ziyad Ghusn in Syria's Tishrin

As expected, yesterday's gathering in Istanbul yielded nothing but hatred and conspiracy against the Syrian people… who will once again confront them and defeat them.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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