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Syrian opposition can open mission

on May 06, 2014 10:10 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration gave approval Monday for the Syrian opposition to open a formal diplomatic mission in the United States and said it would increase nonlethal assistance to the opposition by $27 million.

The steps announced by the State Department give the Syrian Opposition Council’s offices in Washington and New York formal diplomatic status and boost total U.S. assistance to the opposition to $287 million since the Syrian conflict began three years ago.

The administration has recognized the opposition council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in December 2012, but its U.S. offices had been recognized only as informal liaison bureaus until Monday.

The Washington office won’t be considered an embassy, or the New York office a consulate, but both are now be considered “foreign diplomatic missions” under U.S. law.

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