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Syrian opposition chief meets Chinese foreign minister in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's foreign minister Wang Yi met Syria's opposition leader Ahmad Jarba this week and said Beijing supported a political settlement to the Syrian conflict, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Wang said China continued to stay in communication and dialogue with all parties. "China's attention to the Syria issue is in the long-term collective interests of the Syrian people, and will help safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East," Wang said.

Syrian opposition leader to visit China

BEIJING (Reuters) - Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba will lead a delegation to China this week and meet the country's foreign minister, the government said on Monday, in Beijing's latest effort at mediation in the crisis. China and its ally Russia have vetoed Western efforts to impose U.N. penalties on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But China has been keen to show it is not taking sides and has urged the Syrian government to talk to the opposition and take steps to meet demands for political change.

France says Assad survival would be 'total impasse' for Syria

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Tuesday Syrian President Bashar al Assad had a policy to "wipe out" his people in his bid to stamp out a three-year uprising, but this would leave Syria at a total impasse. Assad has forecast that much of the fighting in the Syrian civil war will be over by the end of the year, a former Russian prime minister was quoted on Monday as saying.

Syria opposition condemns priest's murder in Homs

Syria's opposition National Council on Monday condemned "in the strongest terms" the murder of a Dutch priest known for his love of Syria in the country's central city of Homs. "It is with great shock and sorrow that we learned of the assassination of Father Frans van der Lugt in Homs today," National Council president Ahmad Jarba's office said in a statement. "We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless criminal act and mourn his untimely death," it added.

Syrian boys become breadwinners as parents struggle in Turkey

By Dasha Afanasieva KILIS, Turkey (Reuters) - The busy market district of Kilis in southeast Turkey is full of Syrian refugee children, repairing household goods, serving baklava and selling jewelery to become the main breadwinner of their families because their parents struggle to find jobs. The civil war in neighboring Syria has killed more than 140,000 people and driven 2.5 million abroad, at least 700,000 of whom have been formally registered in Turkey under its "open door" policy reflecting support for the Syrian uprising.

Obama, Saudis to discuss boosting moderate Syria opposition

US President Barack Obama was in Riyadh Friday to discuss with Saudi officials ways to "best empower" Syria's moderate opposition, including militarily, a senior White House official said. Cooperation over support for the opposition in the past few months helped improve strained links between Washington and its traditional ally, deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters travelling with Obama on board Air Force One.

Obama, Saudis to discuss boosting moderate Syria opposition

US President Barack Obama was in Riyadh Friday to discuss with Saudi officials ways to "best empower" Syria's moderate opposition, including militarily, a senior White House official said. Cooperation over support for the opposition in the past few months helped improve strained links between Washington and its traditional ally, deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters travelling with Obama on board Air Force One.

Arab summit calls for political solution in Syria

Arab leaders on Wednesday called for a political solution to the conflict in Syria, although the Syrian opposition had asked for "sophisticated" arms to tip the balance of power. "We call for a political solution to the crisis in Syria based on the Geneva I communique," calling for a peaceful transition of power, they said in a statement at the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait. The communique was drawn up at an international conference in 2012 in the Swiss city without the participation of the Syrian government or rebels.

Arab summit calls for political solution in Syria

Arab leaders on Wednesday called for a political solution to the conflict in Syria, although the Syrian opposition had asked for "sophisticated" arms to tip the balance of power. "We call for a political solution to the crisis in Syria based on the Geneva I communique," calling for a peaceful transition of power, they said in a statement at the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait. wak-oh/ak

Syrian opposition seeks Arab League seat and Syrian embassies

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba urged Arab leaders at a summit in Kuwait on Tuesday to grant Syria's vacant Arab League seat to his National Coalition and let it take over Syria's embassies abroad. "Leaving Syria's seat empty sends a message to (President Bashar) al-Assad...'Kill, kill the seat is waiting for you once the battle is settled'," Jarba told the opening session of the Arab League summit. "Reality requires that the Syrian embassies are also handed over to the National Coalition," he said.
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