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Syria: Italy recognises the opposition coalition

Italy has recognised the Coalition of Syrian Opponents of Bashar al-Assad. The decision, which had already been aired by Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, was confirmed by the Minister’s Special Envoy for the Mediterranean and Middle East, Maurizio Massari, at the fourth meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People in Marrakesh, in Morocco.

The Friends of the Syrian People is a platform set up in early 2012 by around 100 members: western states (including Italy), their allies in the four continents, and international organisations like the UN and the Arab League. In its closing statement, the Group cites the Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Concrete Italian help for the humanitarian crisis

At the meeting in Marrakesh, Margherita Boniver, Minister Terzi’s Special Envoy for Humanitarian Emergencies, underscored Italy’s concrete contribution to tackling the humanitarian crisis in Syria. This aspect of the emergency has grown to dramatic proportions. This is especially true for the weakest elements of the population, women and children, who are more exposed to further suffering with the arrival of winter.

Italy to host the fifth “Friends of Syria” meeting

Minister Terzi recently decided to earmark €1.5 million, in addition to the €6 million already allocated in recent months, for a broad programme of initiatives by Italian Development Cooperation. The first flight, with 13 tons of supplies for Syrian refugees in Jordan, was sent to Amman on Saturday 8 December.

The fifth meeting of the Friends of Syria, scheduled for the first quarter of 2013, will be hosted by Italy.

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