India taking part in Syria donors conference

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 12:00 hrs

Kuwait City, Jan 29 (IANS) India along with 54 other countries are taking part in a UN-sponsored conference here Wednesday to raise $1.5 billion to save millions hit by Syria's bloody civil war.

Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed will represent India at the "International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria".

The conference will be inaugurated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed will preside over it.

Among those attending the meeting are Jordan's king, the Lebanese president and leaders of other Arab countries.

The critically important meeting will also deliberate on the security and political situation in Syria.

The UN is hoping that the oil-rich Gulf nations will make generous contribution to provide urgent relief to five million internally displaced in Syria and some 700,000 Syrians who have fled to five neigbouring countries.

Jordan and Lebanon are bearing the brunt of this humanitarian crisis and have sought urgent assistance from the international community.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are actively involved in mitigating the crisis. Both are openly extending material and moral support to the rebels to help them topple the Bashar-al Assad regime.

But France and Jordan have expressed apprehensions that Syria risks falling into the hands of Islamists if Assad goes.

A few days back, the Syrian National Coalition, a conglomerate of opposition groups, held talks in Paris on the latest situation in Syria.

It was at this meeting that some participants felt that if the coalition failed to take military and political steps in a cohesive manner, Syria as a nation will collapse and fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.

"We cannot let a revolution that started as a peaceful and democratic protest degenerate into a conflict of militia," said a senior member of the Syrian National Coalition.

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