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Divisions emerge at Syrian opposition meeting

11-05-2012 11:05 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

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The first day of talks between Syria’s opposition groups has been marked by divisions. The opposition groups have begun talks in the Qatari capital, Doha, to try to build a broader coalition against the Syrian government.

It’s the first concerted attempt to merge the various overseas opposition groups with rebels fighting in Syria. Andrew Dupuis has the details.

Sharp disagreements have arisen on the first day of the Doha conference.

The main opposition group in exile, the Syrian National Council, is looking to broaden its ranks and agree on a common platform. It has balked at a US-backed plan to elect a new leadership body consisting of more military commanders, and fewer political exiles.

Washington is said to favor Syrian dissident Riad Seif as the head of a new Syrian government in exile.

But the SNC says attempts to sideline the council will lead to failure.

George Sabra, spokesman of Syrian National Council, said, "We believe any attempts to bypass the National Council will fail. It’s not necessary to side-step the National Council or bypass any of the opposition structures in order to unite opposition parties. We believe that if people are thinking this, they are going in the wrong direction."

Failure to reach a deal in Doha could further heighten tensions between Syria’s political opposition and the international community.

Opposition leaders feel abandoned by the international community, saying they are not being provided with the money and weapons necessary to defeat Assad.

Meanwhile the international community says they can’t step up aid until the opposition establishes a more representative and unified leadership.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source:

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