DAMASCUS, March 19 (Xinhua) -- A Syrian opposition official said Monday that forming an interim Syrian government in exile would backfire on all political efforts to solve the long-standing crisis peacefully.
"Forming an interim government that carries no real weight in the society and the state is wrong and we think it would further complicate the matters in Syria," Safwan Akkash, a leading member of the Syria-based National Coordination Body (NCB) told Xinhua in an interview.
His remarks came at a time when exiled opposition groups opened a two-day meeting Monday in Turkey's Istanbul and elected Ghassan Hittoto early Tuesday as prime minister of the interim government as part of the efforts to establish a coherent and inclusive political body to administer the opposition-held areas in northern Syria.
Akkash said that the exiled government, with the support of its Western backers, would not operate on a broad base of support.
"I think that the actual weight of such a government emanates from its foreign backers, no more than that..." he said, adding that Syrians "don't want to have two Syrian governments because such a move would have bad repercussions."
He said the NCB supports a transitional government based on the initiative introduced by Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi and the Geneva Communique.
"We support a transitional government that combines the opposition and some officials from the current regime after negotiations based on the initiative of Lakhdar Brahimi," Akkash said, noting that there is an international tendency toward a political solution in Syria "and this approach is not only Western but has become more universal."
Downplaying recent British and French calls for lifting an arm embargo on Syria's rebels, Akkash said all the recent Western voices calling for arming the rebels were just made to add pressure on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
In response to a question concerning Syria's future, Akkash said that "no one can predict the future of Syria but we say that Syrians, if they cooperated and reached consensus on a political solution, would be able to mitigate the severity of the crisis."
"We need the efforts of all Syrians in order to reach that solution and to this end we need the help of regional and international parties as well," he said.
He also reiterated his group's rejection of foreign intervention, sectarianism and violence that has become rampant across the country.