News / Middle East

France Urges International Support for Syrian Opposition

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (r) and Syrian National Coalition vice-president Riad Seif attend a press conference during the International support meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Paris, Jan. 28, 2013.French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (r) and Syrian National Coalition vice-president Riad Seif attend a press conference during the International support meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Paris, Jan. 28, 2013.
x
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (r) and Syrian National Coalition vice-president Riad Seif attend a press conference during the International support meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Paris, Jan. 28, 2013.
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (r) and Syrian National Coalition vice-president Riad Seif attend a press conference during the International support meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Paris, Jan. 28, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
France urged Western and Arab nations meeting in Paris on Monday to make good on pledges to support Syria's opposition, warning that failure to do so would play into the hands of Islamist extremists. Talks also included senior members of the Syrian National Coalition.

After pledging millions of dollars in aid and other assistance to the opposition Syrian National Coalition, France says the international community must now deliver.  French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius issued that blunt message as he opened a meeting of the two groups in Paris.

Fabius said representatives of the 50 countries meeting in the French capital have the responsibility to strongly support the opposition coalition. Otherwise, he warned, they risk extremist fighters in Syria gaining ground. He said the international community cannot allow a peaceful uprising to degenerate into a clash among militia groups.

Since its formation in November, the Syrian opposition coalition has gained the backing of more than 100 countries. But not all have followed up on assistance pledged at a meeting in Marrakesh last month.

Besides representing the Syrian people, the coalition, Fabius said, is also critical to delivering humanitarian aid.

Concerns about the growing clout of Islamists in Syria were underscored Monday when an al-Qaida-linked group, Jabhat al-Nusra, took responsibility for a suicide bombing committed the week before.  But foreign governments have been slow to assist the moderate Syrian coalition because it is perceived to lack cohesion.

But coalition Vice President Riad Seif says time is short. He says funding is needed to set up an interim government and to protect so-called "liberated zones" held by the rebels.

Syria's 22-month uprising has killed more than 60,000 people and uprooted millions of others. Still others have disappeared, and many Syrians urgently need humanitarian assistance.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that Russia - once perceived as a staunch ally of the Syrian regime -  does not support the Assad government or any other party in the conflict.

His comments came a day after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Assad made a potentially "fatal" error by delaying democratic reforms demanded by Syria's opposition.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
January 29, 2013 12:54 AM
Absolutely! It's about time, better late than never. The people of Syria, every man, woman and child should bear arms to defend themselves. This is not fair what Bashar has been getting away with. The people deserve a way to defend themselves at least. I think there may be less deaths and this whole ordeal could be over faster if they had the arms to do so. 100,000 armed people knocking on Bashars front door of his hideout would be a game changer.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More