Saudi Arabia pledges more aid for Syria
Saudi Arabia pledged on Wednesday to donate $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Syrian people during a Friends of Syria meeting.
Speaking at the opening session of the talks, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Feisal said the formation of Syria’s opposition coalition gave “a new opportunity of hope.”
Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani meanwhile, told the meeting in Morocco that Assad's rule was finished after the 20-month-old uprising which has brought rebel fighters to the edge of Damascus.
"This meeting has exceptional significance. It is taking place at a time when the Syrian people are about to complete their victory and achieve their legitimate aspirations for which they have sacrificed their blood and souls," Sheikh Hamad said.
"Our humanitarian and moral duty calls on us to provide support through legitimate means to those who are fighting against oppression and for freedom," Sheikh Hamad said.
He also called for assistance to ordinary Syrians, including refugees he said were living under appalling conditions as winter sets in, and proposed a donors' meeting.
Arab and Western countries opposed to President Assad formally recognized the opposition National Coalition as sole representative of the Syrian people on Wednesday, the Moroccan hosts of a Friends of Syria said.
“Today, full recognition is given to the National Coalition as the sole representative,” Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad-Eddine el-Othmani told a news conference after the meeting of representatives from 130 countries in the southern city of Marrakesh.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama recognized the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the nation’s people. It also blacklisted as a terrorist group the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, which U.S. officials fear seeks to hijack the revolution.