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Syria opposition chief invited to US after recognition

Syrian National Coalition, recently recognized as official opposition bloc following talks in Morocco, is invited for talks in Washington

AFP , Wednesday 12 Dec 2012
Syria
Ministers attend a conference for the Friends of Syria group meeting of Arab and Western states in Marrakech, Wednesday (Photo: Reuters)
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The head of the Syrian National Coalition has been invited for talks in Washington following US recognition of the opposition bloc as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, a senior US envoy said on Wednesday.

"We have extended an invitation to (Ahmed) Moaz al-Khatib and the Coalition leadership to visit Washington at the earliest opportunity," Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said in Morocco, where he was attending a meeting of the Friends of Syria group.

Countries opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime were discussing the recognition of the newly-formed opposition coalition as "the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people.

"The participants acknowledged the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and the umbrella organisation under which Syrian opposition groups are gathering," said the statement to be approved by a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Morocco on Wednesday.

The meeting in the southern city of Marrakesh has brought together representatives of more than 100 countries for talks on the 21-month conflict rocking Syria.

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