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Opposition seeks Syria's seat in UN, OIC

After gaining the seat of Damascus at the Arab League, the Syrian opposition wants to consolidate its international recognition by gaining the seat of Al-Assad at the UN, OIC

Ahram Online , Sunday 31 Mar 2013
Arab League
A general view of an Arab League meeting in headquarters in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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The Syrian National Council (SNC) seeks the seat of Damascus in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Syrian National Coalition Vice President George Sabra told Al-Arabiya Sunday.

Sabra said the opposition agreed to the step following the Arab League's decision to pass Syria's seat at the pan-Arab organisation from the Bashar Al-Assad regime to the SNC.

Sabra revealed that the SNC, Syria's main anti-regime opposition bloc received "positive promises" from Arab and Islamic states concerning this issue, pointing out that gaining an OIC seat reflects support of 57 OIC member-states ahead of a similar endeavour at the United Nations.

However, no formal move is expected before the new UN General Assembly convenes in September, AFP reported Friday.

The statement of Sabra was preceded by Russia's UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, slamming on Friday the Arab League for giving Syria's seat to the opposition, vowing to resist the replication of the step at the United Nations. "We'll oppose it very strongly," Churkin told Reuters.

"But I don't think it's going to happen because ... most of the members of the United Nations are responsible members ... that value this institution," he said. "I think they understand that if something of this sort were to happen it would really undercut the standing of the United Nations."

Last August, the 57-member Islamic organisation suspended Syria's membership during its summit, with OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu saying the move sent "a strong message" to the ruling regime of Al-Assad.

The summit issued a statement at the end of the summit, held in the Saudi city of Mecca, which stipulates the "need to end immediately the acts of violence in Syria and to suspend that country from the OIC."

The statement also expressed "deep concern at the massacres and inhuman acts suffered by the Syrian people."

The two-year uprising against Al-Assad's regime has turned into a bloodbath, with the death of more than 70,000 people.

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