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Secretary Kerry in London for 'Friends of Syria' meeting

Foreign ministers from Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. -- who call themselves the "London 11," or Friends of the Syrian People -- are meeting in London on Thursday to discuss support to the Syrian opposition.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   May 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM

LONDON, May 15 (UPI) -- Foreign ministers from 11 Western and Arab nations who call themselves the "London 11," or Friends of the Syrian People, are meeting Thursday in London to discuss support to the Syrian opposition.

The British Foreign Office tweeted a photo of the representatives gathered from Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.


An unnamed senior U.S. Department of State official, speaking in advance of the meeting, offered an overview of what would be discussed at the London 11 meeting.

"So we basically are now looking forward to building on these steps [to support the moderate Syrian opposition] later this week in London as we continue to work closely with our partners, who will be there, and discuss what we can do to increase assistance for the moderate opposition and particularly to change the realities on the ground in order to raise the prospects that the regime will participate in meaningful political dialogue and that the regime's allies will pressure it to do so.

"And we are also intensifying and improving our cooperation with various international partners and backers of the opposition to ensure that the extremists are denied the funding and the flow of arms that are, unfortunately, enabling them to increase their strength."

Syrian Opposition Coalition President Ahmad al-Jarba confirmed his attendance at the London 11 meeting via Twitter.

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