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Kerry hints at greater US support for Syria opposition

Published on Feb 28, 2013 6:04 AM
A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon as others chant slogans and wave Syrian opposition flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Deir el-Zor February 25, 2013. Picture taken February 25, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry hinted at greater US support for Syria's opposition on Wednesday, saying it needs "more help" in the struggle against Bashar al-Assad and that Washington wants to speed up a political transition.

In Paris on the eve of a meeting in Rome of the Friends of Syria group, Mr Kerry said boosting support for the opposition would be a key part of the talks Thursday bringing together foreign powers and the main opposition National Coalition.

"We are examining and developing ways to accelerate the political transition that the Syrian people seek and deserve, and that is what we will be discussing in Rome," Mr Kerry said at a joint press conference with French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

He said he wanted to hear from the opposition about how best to end the violence in Syria, where the United Nations says at least 70,000 have died and hundreds of thousands have been uprooted in the two-year conflict.

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