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.
According to an agreement reached by the exiled opposition parties, once the new coalition wins international recognition, it will form an interim government in exile and call for a national conference if the Syrian current administration is ousted.
The opposition bloc also agreed to establish a new supreme military council to take overall command of rebel groups.
The 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."
Washington also swiftly declared its backing for the coalition, calling the formation of the bloc a "vitally important step."
The Arab League recognized the opposition bloc on Monday as "the representative of aspirations of Syrian people."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on late Sunday also hailed the formation of the coalition as "a major step in the essential process of the Syrian opposition's unification."
"France will work with its partners to secure international recognition of this new entity as the representative of the aspirations of the Syrian people," Fabius said.
Germany hoped the coalition will provide a "credible" alternative to Assad's regime.
On the other side, the coalition immediately drew condemnation from the Syrian government.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi described such a move as a "new form of foreign interference that aims to market an old product ... in a new form."
"If there is anyone who believes that the demonstrations and meetings that convene at hotels 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.
Meanwhile, Luai Hussain, head of the opposition Building Syria State party, said his party rejects everything that comes out of the overseas-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 Syrians' right to choose their leadership and determine their destines."
He said his party will do its utmost by mobilizing the Syrian public opinion to hobble efforts to form a government abroad.
"The formation of any interim government abroad would be conducive to increasing division in the Syrian society, and thus would widen the platform of a civil war," he added.
President Assad's opponents inside and outside the country have not seen eye to eye with each other on approaches to end the unrest that flared up 20 months ago. The exiled opposition keeps calling for foreign intervention while the Syria-based opposition rejects such an approach and accuses the exiled groups of playing a foreign conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Russia gave a much cooler response with deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov saying "Unification of the Syrian opposition may be useful if the opposition starts a political dialogue with the government, as it is envisaged by the Geneva agreement."
Hassan Nasrallah, head of Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah, criticized opposition coalition's rejection of any political solution, saying it was "dangerous" and would lead to "more destruction."
In a related development, European foreign ministers are due to join on Tuesday their Arab League counterparts in Cairo, Egypt to discuss the latest developments concerning Syria.
CAIRO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Arab League (AL) on Monday recognized the newly-formed Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces as the "representative of the aspirations of Syrian people," said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers.
Before the meeting, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC) also recognized the new Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Full story
MOSCOW, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Warnings to foreign diplomatic missions issued by the Syrian opposition were unacceptable, Russia said Monday.
"We consider such behavior of the hard-line Syrian opposition issuing these ominous ultimatums unacceptable. We reiterate that the future of Syria cannot be linked to those who rely on forceful and openly terrorist means," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement published on its website. Full story