Arab states 'want Syrian opposition to unite'

By REUTERS
February 17, 2012 19:58

 
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TUNIS - Arab countries will encourage the Syrian opposition to unite before they formally recognize them as a government-in-waiting, the foreign minister of Tunisia, which is hosting a meeting on Syria next week, said on Friday.

A year into the revolt against Syria's President Bashar Assad, the Syrian National Council (SNC) has emerged as the international voice of the uprising but has yet to show a real command over grassroots activists and an armed insurgency.

Doubts over the SNC's authority inside Syria have been brought into focus by a February 24 meeting in Tunisia of the "Friends of Syria", organized by the Arab League to try to build international momentum against Assad.

The SNC hopes that recognition from Arab countries would crown it as the opposition government-in-waiting, just as foreign recognition of Libya's National Transitional Council last year helped rebels who eventually ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

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