'Friends of Syria' agree "to hold the Assad regime accountable" for the Syrian crisis

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'Friends of Syria' agree "to hold the Assad regime accountable" for the Syrian crisis

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Foreign ministers from the ‘Friends of Syria’ group have met in London to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The alliance consists of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries, which oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It was said to have been united in their support for several goals, as Britiain’s Foreign Minister William Hague told reporters.

“We’ve also agreed unanimously to take further steps together through a coordinated strategy to increase our support for the moderate opposition, the national coalition and for its supreme military council and associated moderate armed groups, to do everything we can to hold the Assad regime accountable for the terror it is perpetrating” he said.

Bashar al-Assad will be seeking a third seven-year term in national elections scheduled for June 3.

The US dismissed the plan as “a parody of democracy”.

“Together we are unified in in saying that Assad’s staged elections are a farce.” said US Secretary of State John Kerry, adding “They are an insult. They are a fraud on democracy, on the Syrian people and on the world.”

Kerry also announced he had seen unverified raw data suggesting Syria used chlorine as a chemical weapon against its own people.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had earlier said the substance may have been used in 14 attacks in recent months and expressed concerns that Assad is hiding toxic weapons.

The meeting came on the back of UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s resignation over ending the crisis in Syria, which is believed to have left some 150,000 people dead.