DOHA - Factions within Syria's main overseas opposition group jostled for influence on Monday ahead of a push for unity to gain international support and, they hope, better weapons to topple President Bashar Assad.

Ahead of a meeting in Qatar on Thursday aimed at melding opposition groups based abroad with rebels fighting in Syria, the Syrian National Council (SNC) showed signs of internal rifts, putting the new initiative into doubt.

Thursday's meeting will discuss a proposal by influential opposition figure Riad Seif to form a new, 50-member civilian group that will later chose a temporary government and coordinate with the military wing of the revolt - crucial for increasing foreign support for the uprising.

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