Britain pledges to step up support for Syria rebels

August 3, 2012 11:43


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LONDON - Britain promised more non-military support for Syrian rebels on Friday after the resignation of envoy Kofi Annan highlighted the failure of international diplomacy to halt the 17-month-old conflict in Syria.

"That doesn't mean ... that we give up on diplomacy," British Foreign Secretary William Hague told BBC Radio 4. "We don't give up on the diplomacy with Russia and with China. But we will have to do other things as well."

Moscow and Beijing have frequently complained about Western and Arab backing for the insurgents locked in an increasingly bloody drive to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying pressure should be put on both sides to stop the violence.

"We will over the coming weeks increase our practical but non-lethal support to the opposition," Hague said. "We have helped with communications and matters of that kind and we will help them more in this situation given the scale of death and suffering and the failure so far of the diplomatic process."

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