19 Feb 2012

NZ summons Syria representaties for talks

12:28 pm on 19 February 2012

The New Zealand Government has summoned representatives from the Syrian embassy in Canberra for talks as international concern grows over the violence in the country.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it is not known at this stage when the meeting with the official will take place.

About 100 Syrian protesters gathered in Auckland's Aotea Square on Saturday to call on the international community to intervene.

One of the protesters, Ali Aqil of the Syrian Solidarity movement, says the group wants the New Zealand Government to send aid, especially medical supplies, to the country.

Last week, the UN General Assembly demanded an immediate halt to Syria's brutal crackdown on dissent, which human rights groups say has cost more than 6000 lives in the past 11 months.