ISTANBUL - A communique to be issued later on Sunday by a meeting of mainly Arab and Western governments in Istanbul will give full support to UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's peace mission while stressing that it cannot be open-ended, a western diplomat told Reuters.
The diplomat, who was involved in drafting the communique, said the "Friends of Syria," grouping more than 70 countries, would work on additional measures to protect the Syrian people, while the UN Security Council should play an important role in ending the conflict."The wording is constructively ambiguous," the diplomat said. Conference sources said Gulf Arab states were ready to funnel millions of dollars through the opposition Syrian National Council to pay recruits who defect from Assad's forces to join the rebel Free Syrian Army. The communique would also recognize the legitimacy of steps taken by the Syrian people to defend themselves.