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Opposition bloc hopes Syria crisis tops Obama agenda

Syrian National Opposition Council called on president Barack Obama to put the Syrian crisis in his priorities

AFP , Wednesday 7 Nov 2012
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The main opposition Syrian National Council voiced hope on Wednesday that resolving the conflict in Syria would figure at the top of re-elected US President Barack Obama's agenda.

"We hope President Obama places Syria among the priorities in his foreign policy to put an end to the crisis and achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people to choose their own government and their own president, just like the American people did," leading SNC member Radwan Ziadeh told AFP in Doha.

Obama beat Republican candidate Mitt Romney in elections on Tuesday to win a second four-year term as president.

Relations have recently soured between Obama's government and the SNC, which has sought to be the interlocutor between the international community and forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the bloc unrepresentative of opposition forces on the ground and said it "can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition."

The SNC hit back at US criticism last Friday, accusing Washington of undermining the revolt and "sowing the seeds of division."

"We hope that the new administration, whether or not Clinton stays, would work on helping the Syrian opposition re-organise its ranks and form a transitional government in liberated territories," said Ziadeh.

The main Syrian opposition bloc, under US pressure to reshape into a widely representative government-in-exile, agreed on Monday at meetings in the Qatari capital to broaden its structure to accommodate 13 other groups.

More than 36,000 people have been killed in the almost 20-month conflict in Syria that began as a peaceful uprising before degenerating into a large-scale civil war.

The Syrian opposition repeatedly accuses world powers, notably the United States, of having failed to act to end the bloodshed.

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