Syrian opposition expects Arab recognition

AFP, Friday 10 Feb 2012

Currently meeting in Qatari capital, opposition Syrian National Council says it expects to be recognised by Arab Gulf States within days

Opposition delegation of the Syrian National Council, led by Chairman Burhan Ghalioun, attend a news conference during their visit to Moscow on November 15, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), an umbrella body bringing together parties in revolt against the Bashar Al-Assad regime, said on Friday that it expected to be recognised by several Arab states within days.

Currently meeting in Qatar under its Paris-based leader, Burhan Ghalioun, the SNC is hopeful that it will make a diplomatic breakthrough on Sunday at meetings of the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council in Cairo.

"There should be an official recognition of the SNC by several Gulf countries," said Imad Hussari, a spokesman for the group and leader of the "Local Coordination Committees," which mobilise protests inside Syria.

Another SNC figure, Istanbul-based Khaled Khoja, also said he expects recognition "by several Arab states in the coming days."

Currently, only Libya's post-revolutionary interim government recognises the SNC as its sole legitimate Syrian interlocutor, but the Gulf States decided on Monday to expel Syrian ambassadors from their capitals.

The SNC groups parties from different backgrounds, including Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and liberal nationalists. Officials said it would meet in Cairo or Istanbul on 15 February to choose a new chairman.

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