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London backs Syrian political opposition

March 30, 2012 at 10:21 AM

LONDON, March 30 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague said his government agreed to support the political opposition in Syrian with non-military support.

London has provided Syrian opposition groups with about $530,000 in practical support for strategic communication and media skills, conflict resolution techniques and journalist training in the last eight months.

"We will provide further training to human rights activists from Syrian hotspots which have witnessed severe repression to build their capacity to gather, document and store evidence of human rights violations and abuses," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

He said he's agreed to provide another $597,000 to support Syria's political opposition, including in-principle agreements for non-lethal support inside the country.

Hague's office said the support is meant to help Syrian opposition groups develop politically and ensure their own safety against repression from the government in Damascus.

"It will help hard-pressed opposition groups and brave civil society organizations inside and outside the country to document the regime's violations and gain the skills and resources they need to help build a democratic future for Syria," he said.

The Syrian conflict dominated the agenda at a summit for the Arab League in Baghdad. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told participants arming the opposition was an invitation for a proxy war.

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