Western-backed Syrian opposition names cabinet for rebel areas

By REUTERS
November 13, 2013 00:08

 
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ISTANBUL/AMMAN - The Syrian National Coalition named a provisional government for rebel-held areas on Tuesday, despite US misgivings, members of the fractious Western-backed opposition group said in Istanbul.

Washington and its European allies hope a proposed peace conference in Geneva will produce an interim government that can help end the armed conflict raging in Syria since 2011 - a scenario they fear the coalition's decision could disrupt.

The coalition serves as a channel for Western support for the rebels, but its leaders are all outside Syria and their influence on disparate rebel factions is patchy at best.

"The United States is against the provisional government because it thinks it will undermine the Geneva talks," said an opposition official who was involved in naming the cabinet.

"The feeling in the coalition is that even if Geneva convenes it will be a long process and we cannot continue to leave the liberated areas prey to chaos in the meantime."

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