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INTERNATIONAL > Western, Arab officials to discuss military assistance to Syrian rebels in Istanbul

ROME - Reuters

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) waves the audience with President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib during a meeting at Akcakale Refugee camp on December 30, 2012, in Urfa. AFP PHOTO/STR

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) waves the audience with President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib during a meeting at Akcakale Refugee camp on December 30, 2012, in Urfa. AFP PHOTO/STR

Western and Arab officials will meet representatives of the Syrian opposition in Istanbul next Monday to discuss military and humanitarian support for rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, a European diplomatic source said on Thursday.

"The meeting aims to work directly with opposition structures to increase the level of support," the source said, adding that both civilian and military representatives of the Syrian opposition would attend.
 
The source spoke on the margins of a meeting in Rome between the Syrian National Coalition - the main civilian opposition group - and Western and Arab nations.

In a policy shift, the United States has decided to provide medical supplies and food to Syrian fighters, but will still oppose giving the rebels weapons, a source familiar with the matter said overnight.

Istanbul meet to elect Syria opposition PM postponed

BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse

A Syrian opposition meeting scheduled for Saturday in Istanbul to elect a prime minister for a government of rebel-held zones has been postponed and no new date set, the opposition coalition said.
 
"The conference has been postponed and no new date has been set. I cannot reveal the reasons at this time and I do not exclude its cancellation," National Coalition member Samir Nashar told AFP on Thursday.
 
The decision was taken by opposition chief Moaz al-Khatib attending a Friends of Syria conference in Rome, he said.
 
Nashar pointed to "US-Russian efforts to start a dialogue between the Syrian regime and the Coalition that would result in a transitional government and thus be at odds with an interim (opposition) government." "Some people may speculate that the delay was about who will head the government ... (but) there are no divisions within the Coalition. The hotel was booked and all of the delegates were expected to arrive," he stressed.


February/28/2013

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mara mcglothin

3/1/2013 3:48:04 PM

ILKER Your comment would be so funny if is weren't so sad. You, and others, have condemned the USA for meddling in other peoples' business and now you think the USA should intervene. How has that helped in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the World? Time for everyone to take care of their own. Americans are tired of trying to help and then be criticized for our actions. Can't have your cake and eat it too! Regardless these people will be fighting each other for many years to come.

ilker avni

3/1/2013 1:17:06 AM

America the so called policeman of the World and the leader of the free World stands idle,while killings and suffering goes on, all to protect Israel in case arms fall into the wrong hands according to their excuse..The Syrians wont forget America when this is all over.Just like in Bosnia the Americans stood by while thousands of poor Muslims died unable to defend themselfs because of a arms embargo.Muslims Countries should take note and arm the FSA to bring about a quick victory for the people.

mara mcglothin

2/28/2013 4:00:10 PM

Syria should take care of their own business without the interference of other countries. Shouldn't someone learn for the past mistakes of the USA???

Richard Pekar

2/28/2013 3:38:35 PM

It is goof idea change Assad for someone normal like Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib ... and will be peace.

Ummah Muslim

2/28/2013 1:12:45 PM

The majority of the people in Turkey does support the Free Syrian Army.(FSA) Freedom for our muslim brothers in Syria insAllah.

Pawel Bury

2/28/2013 12:20:06 PM

Istanbul in the center of a religious conflict. Well done Mr Erdogan.
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