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Resigned SNC chief Khatib opposed 'private agendas': Source

Syrian Opposition figure tells Ahram Online reason for resignation of SNC chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib on Sunday

Ahmed Eleiba, Sunday 24 Mar 2013
Syria
Resigned SNC chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib (Photo: Reuters)
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Ahmed Riad Ghanam, a Cairo-based member of the Syrian opposition, said that the head of the Syrian National Council (SNC) Ahmed Moaz Al-Khatib resigned on Sunday due to his rejection for the interference of Arab and western states in the relationship between the anti-regime blocs.

Ghanam referred to Qatar in specific, saying the Gulf state backs some sects of the opposition, while ignoring the rest.

"The diverse sides of the Syrian opposition have different agendas as each of them receive support from different Arab and Western states; this was what Al-Khatib rejected and led to his resignation," Ghanam told Ahram Online during a phone interview.

"The element of foreign interference had unfortunately caused such state of division within the ranks of the opposition; the selection of rebel premier Ghassan Hitto was one example, some favored him and others did not,"

Ghanam said that most sects of the opposition, including the Free Syrian Army (FSA), were enforced to accept Hitto's nomination, though he did not give specific names. However, Ghanam argued that the SNC was "hastily" formed with no prior arrangements.

"Al-Khatib wanted an internal dialogue between the regime and the opposition to stop the bloodshed, while Hitto announced that no dialogue with regime elements; thus, we cannot separate between the resignation and the Arab League meetings in Doha", Ghanam concluded. 

Al-Khatib resigned on Sunday from the National Coalition, a dissident group recognised by dozens of states and organisations as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

"I announce my resignation from the National Coalition, so that I can work for a freedom that cannot possibly be had in an official institution," Khatib said in a statement published on Sunday on his Facebook page.

The surprise resignation comes just days after the first election in Istanbul of a rebel prime minister, Ghassan Hitto, and just over two years on from the outbreak of a popular revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

"For the past two years, we have been slaughtered by an unprecedentedly vicious regime, while the world has looked on," Khatib said.

"All the destruction of Syria's infrastructure, the detention of tens of thousands of people, the forced flight of hundreds of thousands and other forms of suffering have been insufficient for the international community to take a decision to allow the people to defend themselves," he added.

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