The diplomatic status of the Syrian
National Coalition’s representation in the UK has been upgraded to a ‘foreign mission’, Foreign Secretary William Hague announced at a recent Friends of Syria meeting in London.
The reason for the boost to the Syrian opposition is “in recognition of the strength of our partnership,” the Foreign Secretary said.
The British decision came 10 days after the United States conferred similar recognition to the Syrian opposition, although the representatives will not get the keys to the Syrian Embassy in the US, which was shuttered in March.
Hague also announced that Britain would provide an extra £30 million in “practical support to help the opposition” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The core ‘London 11’ – which consists of Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA – also condemned the Assad regime’s unilateral plan to hold presidential elections on 3 June.
“This mocks the innocent lives lost in the conflict, utterly contradicts the Geneva Communiqué – it is a parody of democracy as many millions of Syrians will be unable to participate in such a so-called ‘election’,” said the Foreign Secretary who called on the international community to reject what he called “illegitimate elections”.
Joining the meeting was President Al-Jarba of the Syrian National Coalition and Prime Minister Tomah of the Coalition’s Interim Government on behalf of the Syrian opposition.