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Britain to host "Friends of Syria" int'l meeting

English.news.cn   2014-05-07 01:20:25

LONDON, May 6 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague will host the "Friends of Syria" international meeting in London next week, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced Tuesday.

Hague will host the foreign ministers of the "London 11", the core group of the Friends of Syria, in London on May 15, the FCO said.

The foreign ministers will discuss how best to significantly step up support to the Syrian opposition, make urgent progress on improving the deteriorating humanitarian crisis and reinvigorate a political process, a British Foreign Office spokesperson said Tuesday.

"Now is the right time for those countries who support a democratic future for Syria, free from Assad, to come together to do discuss how we press forward with this aim," the spokesperson added.

Registration for Syria's contentious June 3 presidential vote was wrapped up Thursday with 24 contenders, including incumbent President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Syrian parliament.

Opposition groups inside and outside Syria have criticized the decision to hold the presidential elections amid the current civil war in the country, saying that millions of Syrians are displaced in neighboring countries, many of whom don't have access to basic necessities, let alone access to polling stations.

Government officials say President al-Assad is the "real guarantee" for the future of Syria and that it is very likely that he will be re-elected for a third seven-year term.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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