A coalition of Syrian opposition leaders met in Turkey over the weekend to try to solve their differences. The group was expected to discuss what it considers to be broken promises of the United States, gulf countries and others, which had urged it to reorganize and expand over the prospect of receiving increased aid. A senior official from Iran, Mr. Assad’s only Middle Eastern ally, offered the strongest support of Assad acknowledging that a change in leadership may be necessary, but that Assad should not be pushed out.
Back in Syria, the foreign minister urged rebels to lay down their arms in exchange for becoming part of a national dialogue working toward a transitional government. This comes after nearly two years of civil unrest, initiated by the Syrian governments attack on a peaceful protest in March 2011.