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On visit to India, special envoy to President Assad criticizes British aid to Syrian rebels

A special envoy to Syria's president has criticized Britain's decision to provide non-lethal military equipment to Syrian rebels, saying this will hinder efforts for peace in the strife-torn country.

Buthaina Shaaban, the envoy of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, told reporters Friday that it was surprising that Britain was aiding Syrian rebel forces comprising mainly Al-Qaida and other conservative Islamic groups.

She warned that Britain and other Western powers that were supporting Islamic fundamentalist rebels in Syria were themselves vulnerable to attacks from such groups.

Shaaban is visiting India for talks with Indian leaders in an effort to rally support for Assad from the emerging economies of the BRICS grouping that comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.