France sets up humanitarian fund for Syria
PARIS Feb 14 (Reuters) - France said on Tuesday it had created an emergency fund for aid agencies looking to help the Syrian people and would propose a similar one at an international level next week when countries meet in Tunisia to discuss the escalating crisis.
Paris had previously proposed "humanitarian corridors" with Syrian approval or with an international mandate for shipping food and medicine to alleviate civilian suffering while Damascus cracks down on an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe met humanitarian organisations on Tuesday and pledged 1 million euros to finance groups trying to offer humanitarian help to Syria.
"(The minister) insisted that France is working at all international levels to ensure the right to access the population," said a foreign ministry statement.
International powers are due to meet in Tunis on Feb. 24 as part of a newly-created "Friends of Syria Group" aimed at trying to find a way of peacefully ending the conflict in Syria. (Reporting By John Irish)