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News Analysis: Recognition of opposition coalition may aggravate Syria crisis

English.news.cn   2012-11-14 13:32:51            

DAMASCUS, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Syrian analysts believe that recognizing the newly formed opposition coalition in exile as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people will not help stop violence in Syria, but further deepen the division.

"It will not help in making the situation better in Syria, and will neither reduce the rate of violence in the country nor mitigate the daily bloodshed," George Gabbour, a political expert and ex-parliamentarian told Xinhua on Tuesday.

After a five-day meeting held in the Qatari capital of Doha, Syrian opposition signed on Sunday an agreement to form a new coalition called the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, in the hope of having a unified entity to face the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The new coalition mainly is composed of opposition groups outside Syria and activists from inside the country as well as rebels' commanders.

Once the new coalition wins international recognition, its members will form an interim government in exile and call for a national conference as soon as the current Syrian administration is ousted, according to a draft of the agreement.

The opposition alliance also agreed to establish a new supreme military council to take overall command of rebel groups.

The head of the new coalition, former Muslim preacher Mouaz al-Khatib, called on the international community to render qualitative arms to the rebels on ground to tip the balance in Syria's 20-month-old crisis.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- were the first to recognize the opposition coalition.

Calling it "the legitimate representative of the Syrian people," GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif al-Zayani said "the GCC will offer support and assistance for the Syrian coalition in order to achieve the hopes and aspirations of the Syrian people."

Also, the Arab League recognized the opposition alliance on Monday as "the representative of aspirations of the Syrian people" and "legitimate representative" of Syria's opposition.

However, the group stopped short of giving it full recognition as the representative of the Syrian people.

Meanwhile, France recognized the new group as the "sole legitimate" representative of the Syrian people, making it the first European country to formally recognize the newly formed coalition.

"I announce ... that France recognizes the Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and therefore as the future democratic government of Syria," French President Francois Hollande said during a press conference.

The United States also recognized the coalition as the legitimate representative of Syrians but said the group must first prove its ability to represent Syrians inside the country.

Gabbour, the expert, said the new coalition should be pushed to sit at the dialogue table with the current Syrian administration in order to find a peaceful solution to the protracted crisis.

"If the coalition is truly representing the Syrians, it should clarify its stance toward the opposition at home and the groups that hold up arms," he said.

The Syrian opposition at home rejected the formation of the coalition and the idea of an interim government in exile.

"I don't think that this coalition would last for long and it won't be conducive to solving the Syrian crisis, but I'm afraid it would further complicate the Syrian crisis because it is trying to create a new pole to confront the regime not to confront all of the challenges the country is facing," Luai Hussain, head of the oppositional Building Syria State Party, said Monday during an interview with Xinhua.

"We reject any government in exile as much as we do with the Syrian government, which has been imposed on us and against our will," Hussain stated, regarding the formation of an exiled government as "handing the country over to big powers in return for ousting the current regime."

For his side, Khalaf al-Miftah, a political analyst, said the recognition of the coalition represents "an infringement upon the national sovereignty and the Syrian legitimacy and set a dangerous precedent in the political history between the Arab countries."

He said the recognition will undermine the mission of the UN-Arab League joint representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, "particularly that the new coalition rejects calls for holding dialogues with the Syrian administration."

Rjaa al-Naser, a leading opposition figure inside Syria, regarded the recognition as "aggravating the divisions" because it would force a leader on the Syrian people according to a foreign will instead of that of the Syrians.

In the first official response to the new coalition, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad said the new coalition is "an American and Qatari project used by foreign powers to destroy Syria."

"We think that the opposition is not made in Syria, and as you have noticed it's an American and Qatari made...," Mikdad added.

Regardless of the ostensible unity among the opposition abroad and their supposed legitimacy in representing the Syrian people, most of the Syrians inside the country haven't even heard of the names of most members in the new coalition. Even some opposition activists in Syria look at the exiled opposition with disdain, thinking that they want to come to rule the country on the blood of the real revolutionaries.

Related:

Syria gov't shrugs off opposition's new coalition

DAMASCUS, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Syria's exiled opposition groups convening in the Qatari capital of Doha on Sunday signed a formal agreement to form a new coalition called the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, in the hope of having a unified entity to face the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The new coalition will be mainly composed of opposition groups outside Syria and also activists from inside the country as well as rebels' commanders, reports said.  Full story

Syria's newly-formed opposition coalition draws mixed reaction

BEIJING, Nov.13 (Xinhua) -- A coalition newly formed by exiled Syrian opposition parties to defy the administration of President Bashar al-Assad have drawn mixed reactions from inside and outside Syria.

The Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces formed Sunday in Doha, Qatar, will be composed mainly of opposition groups outside Syria, but will also include activists inside the country as well as rebel commanders.  Full story

Editor: Liu
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