100 countries back new Syrian coalition: France
Marrakech: More than a 100 countries on Wednesday recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition, opening the way for greater humanitarian assistance to the forces battling Bashar Assad and possibly even military aid, France`s foreign minister said.
The formation of the Syrian National Coalition appears to be the step the international community has been waiting for to extend deeper assistance to the opposition, which before had been criticized for not being sufficiently organized or representative.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the "Friends of the Syrian People" conference meeting in Marrakech, Morocco "extraordinary progress." He noted that the European Union is now renewing its weapons embargo on Syria every 3 months rather than annually to give them more flexibility as the situation on the ground changes.
"We want to have the ability to continue or to change our attitude on this point the fact that the coalition, which is asking for the right to defend itself is now being recognized by a hundred countries, yesterday the US and first France, I think this is a very important point."
The conference comes hours after President Barack Obama declared its new coalition was the "legitimate representative" of its country`s people.
At the conference, Syrian opposition spokesman Walid al-Bunni called for "real support" and not just recognition. The Syrian National Coalition, formed in November during a conference in Doha, Qatar, has been calling for increased international support, including military material.
"We need not only bread to help our people," opposition member Saleem Abdul Aziz al Meslet told The Associated Press. "We need support for our Syrian army we need to speed up things and get rid of this regime."
Some of that support appeared to be forthcoming with Saudi Arabia announcing a USD100 million aid package at the conference.
Western countries have been reluctant to send arms to Syria, not the least because of their experience in Libya where the West actively backed one side in a civil war in a country that later became awash in militant groups.
There has been a noticeable hardening of the Western rhetoric though as the war in Syria has ground on for nearly 2 years killing more than 40,000 people according to estimates by rights groups and as the rebels score new battlefield victories, there are fears that Assad may turn to his chemical weapons arsenal.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced on May 28
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark