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'Friends of Syria' gather to talk arms aid

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US Ambassador to Qatar Susan Ziadeh (L) walks with US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) and Ambassador Ibrahim Fakhroo, the Qatari Chief of Protocol, on Kerry’s arrival in Doha, June 22, 2013.

Foreign ministers of the so-called “Friends of Syria” group of nations have gathered in the Qatari capital Doha to decide on arming militants fighting in Syria.

Top diplomats from Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States will take part in Doha talks on Saturday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague were among the top officials attending the meeting.

Hague told reporters on Saturday the meeting will discuss “whether we should give lethal aid of any kind to the Syrian opposition, the position remains the same — we have taken no decision to do that.”

The meeting came as the US said that it would provide the foreign-backed militants with “direct military aid.”

On Friday, the militants announced that they had received new weapons that could lead to “changes” in war against the Syrian government.

Unrest has gripped Syria since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian security forces, have been killed in the unrest.

The Syrian government maintains that the chaos in the country is being orchestrated from outside and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.


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