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UK FM: ‘Friends of Syria’ group to increase support for opposition

British Foreign Secretary William Hague also said on Thursday that a political end to three-year Syrian conflict was distant

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The “Friends of Syria,” an alliance of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries who oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has agreed to increase support for the moderate Syrian opposition, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday.

“We've also agreed unanimously to take further steps together through a coordinated strategy to increase our support for the moderate opposition, the national coalition and for its supreme military council and associated moderate armed groups,” Hague told reporters in London after meeting Secretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers at a “Friends of Syria” meeting of 11 Western and Arab countries.

In a move to further support the moderate Syrian opposition, Britain has upgraded the status of the London office of an opposition group to a mission, he added.

Recognition of partnership

The office of the Syrian National Coalition was being upgraded “in recognition of the strength of our partnership,” Hague said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Hague also said on Thursday that a political end to three-year Syrian conflict was distant.

Although Assad’s army has recently made military gains, Hague says the group believes that “there will not be a military victory for either side,” according to the Associated Press.

The three-year conflict has killed at least 150,000 people, and no end is in sight. Earlier this week, United Nations-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi resigned from his post.


(With the Associated Press and Reuters and AFP)