Baird to meet with Syrian opposition groups

oreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, December 4, 2012.

Credits: REUTERS/Patrick Doyle


OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will meet with Syrian opposition groups this week as Canada's allies move towards a cautious support of a new rebel coalition.

Baird will travel to Morocco for the Friends of Syria meeting Wednesday, where he will announce another round of support for Syrians suffering in the conflict that's lasted 20 months.

In a statement, Baird said he will urge the new Syrian National Coalition (SNC) to reach out to all sectors of the Syrian opposition and the country's minorities, including Kurds and Christians.

The European Union is moving towards offering full recognition of the SNC but is said to be wary of the presence of radical Islamists in the rebel group. The U.S. is expected to announce its backing of the new group at the meeting.

On Monday, the NDP and the Liberals both urged the Conservative government to support the Syrian opposition.

Baird will travel to Tunisia following his visit to Morocco.
- With files from Reuters.

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