Foreign Ministers and representatives from some 70 countries and organisations will gather in the Tunisian capital today for the inaugural meeting of the "Friends of Syria".
Richard Murphy, who was US ambassador to Syria during the 1970s, told Evan Davis what he believes can be done to ease the situation.
The Syrian regime "do not like to be in the spotlight as being a monster, persecuting their own people," he said, which meant there was still hope for diplomatic negotiations.
On the other hand, he said, "it is a brutal dedicated regime, with ample power to continue shooting".
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