France: Syrian opposition chief due in Paris soon

November 14, 2012 17:08


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PARIS - The head of Syria's new opposition coalition has been invited to Paris and is expected to visit in the coming days, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday.

Fabius, speaking after France said it would recognize the coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people, said the deal last weekend to form the group was a "ray of hope" for Syria.

"In line with calls we made as early as last August, there's now going to be a united, provisional government of opposition forces in Syria," Fabius told the lower house of parliament.

Mouaz Alkhatib, a moderate Sunni Muslim cleric who fled to Cairo in July after repeated detentions by Syrian secret police, was elected on Sunday to head the opposition coalition.

The 52-year-old is seeking international recognition for a transitional government as a precursor to acquiring weapons.

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