|U.S. ups aid to Syria insurgents by $45 million||
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement at a meeting of foreign ministers of the so-called Friends of Syria group in New York on Friday, Press TV reported.
Clinton said $30 million would be allocated for humanitarian relief and another $15 million would be used to support what she referred to as civilian opposition groups.
The U.S. has already provided some $25 million to the armed groups, calling it non-lethal assistance to help them purchase communications devices.
Some European and Arab countries have also provided weapons to the insurgents fighting against the Syrian government.
Russia calls for immediate ceasefire
The Russian foreign minister has called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria and the start of a political process to establish peace in the Arab country.
Sergei Lavrov made the remarks in New York on Friday in his speech to the General Assembly.
“Russia resolutely condemns any violence, wherever it comes from, and is convinced that there is still an opportunity to undertake collective actions,” he said. “Practical steps to overcome the crisis need to begin with a comprehensive ceasefire, release of prisoners and hostages and supply of additional humanitarian aid. This will create conditions to start an inter-Syrian dialogue.”
“We have consistently called for consolidated efforts of the international community to compel the government and its opponents to immediately cease the violence and come to the negotiating table, and to elaborate a compromise on the content and pace of the reforms that would satisfy all Syrians and ensure the safety and rights of all ethnic and religious groups,” Lavrov added.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists’ are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
Western states have been calling for President Assad to step down. However, Russia and China are strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals.
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