ROME - Western and Arab governments on Thursday pledged more political and
material support for the civilian Syrian opposition and called for an immediate
halt to arms supplies to the Assad government.
A final statement after a
meeting of the "Friends of Syria" diplomatic group in Rome added: "The regime
must immediately stop the indiscriminate bombardment against populated areas
which are crimes against humanity and cannot remain unpunished".
added: "The ministers pledged more political and material support to the (Syrian
National) coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people
and to get more concrete assistance (into) Syria." They gave no detail of what
kind of support would be supplied.
The United States plans for the first time to provide non-lethal aid, including
food rations and medical supplies, to opposition fighters battling the Syrian
government and it will more than double aid to the civilian opposition, U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday.
Speaking after talks with
the Syrian opposition and mainly European and Arab countries supporting them,
Kerry said that the United States would give the civilian opposition an
additional $60 million to help them provide security.