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Syria gov't shrugs off opposition's new coalition

English.news.cn   2012-11-12 17:39:31            
 • Syria's exiled opposition groups on Sunday signed a formal agreement to form a new coalition. 
 • The conferences elected Maath al-Khatib as the president of the new coalition.
 • Syrian Information Minister dismissed the Doha meeting as a "new form of foreign interference".

 

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.

Once the new coalition earns international approval, its members will form an interim government in exile and call for a national conference once the Syrian current administration is ousted, according to the agreement.

The exiled Syrian opposition has been convening in Doha since last week under international pressures to unite its ranks.

On Sunday evening, the conferences elected Maath al-Khatib as the president of the new coalition, while naming Riad Seif and Suheir Atassi as vice presidents.

The 52-year-old Khatib is a moderate Islamic preacher who rejects the sectarian rivalries among the Syrians. He had been imprisoned several times in Syria due to his participation in anti- government activities.

Riad Seif and Suhair Arassi are also prominent dissidents and both spent times in prison before leaving the country.

The Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition umbrella abroad, had previously rejected the idea of a broader platform for the opposition out of fear of declining influence. However, the SNC secured 22 seats out of the coalition's 60.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi dismissed the Doha meeting as a "new form of foreign interference that aims to market an old product in a new form."

In an interview with the state-run Syrian TV aired late Friday, al-Zoubi said this "product" will never be marketed locally and popularly because "any national, even if he was an opponent, will not accept to be part of such project."

"If there is anyone who believes that the demonstrations and meetings can make a state or a political project and overthrow the government, he is deluding himself and his thinking is nonsense and a kind of political folly," he added.

"Dialogue is the sole option in Syria that can succeed," he stressed.

Al-Zoubi said the Syrian leadership believes in dialogue "which should be between effective, organized and influential parties, but not between the opposition and the government, unless those opposition forces seek actually Syria's interest."

Meanwhile, Luai Hussain, head of the oppositional Building Syria State Party, said that his party rejects everything that comes out from the broad-based opposition.

"We reject the formation of any transitional government abroad and any other decision and we regard such act as a direct and real aggression on Syrian right to choose their leadership and determine their destines."

He said that his party will do its utmost to stand in the face of forming a government abroad by mobilizing the Syrian public opinion against that idea.

"The formation of any interim government abroad would be conducive in increasing the division in the Syrian society, and thus would widen the platform of the civil war," he added.

Hussain and other leading opponents on ground didn't appear at the Doha meeting, apparently because he wasn't invited.

The National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, a Damascus-based opposition group, didn't take part in the meeting in Qatar.

Since the beginning of unrest in Syria last year, both the opposition inside and outside Syria have not been on the same page regarding their approaches. The exiled opposition keeps calling for a foreign intervention in Syria, while the Syria-based opposition rejects the approach and accused the exiled opposition of playing out a foreign conspiracy.

Related:

Syrian opposition form new coalition, elect coalition head

DOHA, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Syrian opposition groups announced here Sunday the formation of a new coalition and Moaz al-Khatib as the united entity's head.

A formal agreement for forming the National Coalition for the Opposition Forces was signed Sunday evening in the Qatari capital of Doha by Khatib and George Sabra, the new head of major opposition group the Syrian National Council (SNC), a Xinhua reporter said.  Full story

Syrian opposition announce formation of new coalition

BEIJING, Nov. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Syrian opposition groups have announced the formation of a new coalition in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The groups signed the agreement for forming a unity front, the National Coalition for the Opposition Forces, amid increased international pressure to set up a united entity that could effectively confront Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The opposition groups elected Moaz al-Khatib as president of the new coalition.  Full story

 

Editor: Yang Lina
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