France giving $1.5 million to Syria opposition coalition
France is giving more than $1.5 million in emergency aid to a newly formed Syrian opposition coalition, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced Monday.
“France, which was first to recognize the coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, now wants to help it come to the aid of its countrymen in distress,” Fabius said in a statement.
The Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces was created this month in an effort to unite the disparate factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad. It has successfully pushed for recognition from France, Britain and the European Union as a whole.
The donation to the coalition is another sign that the blanket opposition group is gaining footing internationally. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told reporters Monday that it was unacceptable for France to support the coalition.
“No country, no nation, no government should take action aimed at the violent change of a political regime in any other country,” Medvedev was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Besides the newly announced donation, France has sent more than $1.5 million to various opposition groups to provide humanitarian aid, along with nearly $390,000 for nonprofits helping refugees, Fabius said.
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