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Friends Of Syria Meeting Opening In Rome

Members of the Free Syrian Army walk with their weapons in Deir el-Zor on February 26.
A “Friends of Syria” meeting is opening in Rome with expectations the United States and European countries will announce the intention to provide nonlethal aid to fighters opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Representatives from dozens of nations are due to meet with Syria’s main opposition group on February 28 to discuss possible ways forward in the nearly 2-year-old conflict in Syria.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Rome from Paris after discussing the situation in Syria with French officials.

The Syrian opposition initially rejected participating in the Rome meeting but changed its position after statements from Kerry that concrete proposals would be discussed.

Western news agencies report some nations represented in Rome are prepared to offer Syrian opposition fighters medical supplies and food aid.

Based on reporting by Reuters and ITAR-TASS