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Syrian opposition leader calls for arming of rebels

The leader of the Syrian National Council calls on the International community to arm the opposition forces in its struggle to oust Bashar Al-Assad regiem

AFP , Tuesday 13 Nov 2012
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The leader of Syria's new main opposition coalition called on world powers on Tuesday to arm rebels with "specialised weapons" as European Union and Arab League ministers met in Cairo.

Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib told AFP rebels desperately needed arms if they were to "cut short the suffering of the Syrians and their bloodshed."

"We need specialised weapons," he added, without elaborating.

Khatib also said his organisation, formed on Sunday after marathon meetings in Qatar, was representative of most opposition groups, even as European countries and the Arab League fell short of recognising it as a government in exile.

"Many groups have joined. Some have reservations, and we are in touch with everyone. The vast majority has joined. It is the strongest coalition, and represents Syria internally," he said in a phone interview in Cairo.

Khatib had earlier on Tuesday met French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at a Cairo hotel.

Fabius and EU chief Catherine Ashton have expressed support for Khatib's Syrian Coalition but have not given it the recognition it had hoped for, which could facilitate more aid to the rebels.

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