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Several hundred pro-Assad protesters disrupt 'Friends of Syria' meeting in Tunisia

Mohamed Messara / EPA

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad scuffle with Tunisian police near the venue where Friends of Syria conference is convening, in Tunis, Tunisia, on Feb. 24.

Mohamed Messara / EPA

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad shout slogans outside the venue where Friends of Syria conference is convening, in Tunis, Tunisia, on Feb. 24.

TUNIS, Tunisia -- The main opposition Syrian National Council outlined on Friday its vision for a post-Assad Syria, and appealed for the weapons required to make that happen.

The SNC announced it was proposing an interim presidential council of national leaders and a truth and reconciliation committee at a meeting of the “Friends of Syria” group of 70 Western and Arab nations in Tunisia Friday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said ahead of the meeting that rebel fighters would become “increasingly capable,” saying they will “from somewhere, somehow, find the means to defend themselves as well as begin offensive measures."

There was drama as the conference got under way at the Palace Hotel in Tunis, when several hundred pro-Assad protesters breached the grounds, forcing Clinton to be diverted to her hotel and delaying her appearance at the meeting. Police wielding batons stopped them getting inside the hotel itself and drove them out the parking lot after about 15 minutes.

Read the full story.

-- msnbc.com staff and news services

Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images

Tunisian police wielding batons beat back several dozen protesters trying to enter the venue of an international meeting on the Syria crisis in Tunis on Feb. 24.

Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images

Tunisian and Syrian's Bashar al Assad Supporters shout slogans during a demonstration in front of the conference hotel during the first "Friends of Syria" conference in Tunis on Feb. 24. Western and Arab nations are to challenge Syria to allow in desperately needed humanitarian aid at a meeting today aimed at tackling President Bashar al-Assad's increasingly bloody crackdown.

International pressure is mounting on Syrian leader Bashar Assad, as diplomats from about 80 nations gather in Tunisia to discuss the crisis. NBC's Richard Engel reports.