"Friends of Syria" conference draws condemnation

CAIRO, June 23 (www.qiewo.com) -- After the Friends of Syria conference in Doha agreed Saturday to provide urgently all the necessary materiels and equipment to the rebels, opposing reactions from Syrian officials and its allies about the rush move have emerged Sunday.

The Doha conference contradicts with a planned Geneva II conference which will be held soon to solve the Syrian crisis peacefully, said Syrian deputy Information Minister, Khalaf al- Moftah, terming the conference as a conspiracy against Syria.

Countries that took part in the meeting are partners in a direct way in the aggression on Syria, he said.

Providing military support for the opposition means more killings among Syrians and more bloodshed in Damascus, Moftah was quoted as saying by the Iranian AlAlam news channel.

The conspiracy aims at draining the Syrian military potentials in favor of the Zionist enemy, he added.

In an exclusive interview with the same channel, a Syrian lawmaker said countries that met in Doha are not friends of Syria as they claim, but they are true enemies for the Syrian people.

Balance can not be achieved on the ground through arming the opposition groups, Sherief Shehada said, calling on these countries to push for a dialogue to end the bloodshed.

Meanwhile, Iran has denounced the decision by Western and Arab countries to send weapons for Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.

Those who support sending weapons to Syria are responsible for the massacre of innocents and for the insecurity in the region, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said.

Iran is Syria's main regional ally and regularly condemns the aid that Western and Arab countries and Turkey have given to the Syrian rebels.

On Saturday, the foreign ministers of the Friends of Syria, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey, met in the Qatari capital for talks on the latest developments in Syria and agreed to further arm the Syrian opposition fighters.

In a joint statement, the participants agreed to provide urgently all the necessary materiels and equipment to the rebels fighting al-Assad on the ground.

They also condemned the intervention of the Shiite Hezbollah militia and fighters from Iran and Iraq.

Speaking at a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after the conference, Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani said that participating countries, excluding two states which he did not name, agreed to increase military support for the Syrian opposition.

He noted that secret decisions have been taken during the meeting to change the situation on the ground.

He asserted that the planned military support came in response to interference by regional powers in the ongoing conflict in Syria and after the Assad administration escalated violence recently.

The Qatari prime minister underlined that the participants agreed on intensifying urgent aid to help the Syrian people, pointing out that the military support will reach the Syrians through the Commander of the Free Syrian Army Maj. Gen. Selim Idris.

He went to say that the countries agreed that the political solution and Geneva II conference are important, however, the Syrian opposition should be provided with aid through which they can improve the situation on the ground.

For his part, Kerry said that the decision to support the Syrian rebels militarily was taken due to the use of chemical weapons and interference of Iran and Hezbollah.

He said that the United States remained committed to a peace plan that includes a conference in Geneva and Washington will send envoys to Geneva next week to meet with UN-Arab league joint envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, to set a date for holding the meeting.