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Friends of Syria meeting agrees to send 'materiel, equipment' to rebels


10:47, June 23, 2013

DOHA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The foreign ministers of the Friends of Syria met on Saturday in the Qatari capital of Doha for talks on the latest developments in Syria and agreed to further arm the Syrian opposition fighters.

In a joint statement, the meeting agreed to "provide urgently all the necessary materiels and equipment" to the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad on the ground.

They also condemned "the intervention of the Shiite Hezbollah militia and fighters from Iran and Iraq."

Foreign ministers of 11 countries took part in the meeting, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani delivered the opening speech in which he asserted that the only way to end the Syrian conflict is to arm the opposition and provide it with all forms of support.

He called on Beirut to prevent Lebanese parties from interfering in the conflict, in a reference to Hezbollah.

For his part, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that all parties agree that ending the Syrian violence would allow the Syrian people to choose their future.

"The continued bloodshed at the hands of the Assad regime and the increasing involvement of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah threaten the prospect of a political settlement and of peace and the regime's use of chemical weapons crossed President Obama and other nation's red line," he told the ministerial meeting.

"And we also condemn - all of us - any atrocity by any extremists or by any opposition group that might engage in," he added.

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