Arab and Western governments pledged more material and political support for the civil opposition in Syria. The governments called for arms supplies to be immediately halted for the Assad government.
Following a meeting in Rome with the Friends of Syria, a statement was released that said the Syria regime must stop immediately its indiscriminate bombarding of populated areas, which cannot go unpunished as they are crimes against humanity.
The governments taking part in the summit pledged support to the coalition as the only legitimate representative of the people of Syria and to get additional assistance into the country. No details were given as to the form or type of support that would be given to the coalition. The statement from the summit also condemned the arms supply by third countries to Syria’s regime.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after speaking with representatives from the opposition in Syria and the Arab and mostly European countries that the U.S. could pledge $60 million to the Syrian opposition in new forms of aid and would work with the rebels.
The U.S. is planning to provide for just the first time non-lethal forms of aid, which includes medical supplies and food rations, to the forces battling the government in Syria. Kerry said his country would more than double its aid to the opposition in Syria while speaking at a news conference following the summit. Kerry said that Bashar al-Assad had a long time ago lost his legitimacy and now has lost his power.
This summit was held prior to a meeting in Istanbul on Saturday of the Syrian National Coalition, where the opposition group will elect its prime minister that will run the areas of Syria the opposition has taken from the government.