Syria Opposition Delays Decision on Govt-in-Exile
Monday, 21 January 2013 – JTW – BEIRUT — The Syrian opposition said on Monday it had postponed a decision on forming a government-in-exile at its meeting in Istanbul, saying it needs guarantees of support from dissident forces on the ground.
The Syrian National Council (SNC), a key component of the opposition, said the meeting held on Sunday formed a five-member panel to consult with the rebel Free Syrian Army, and other concerned parties on the issue. “After studying the proposals and after deliberation on the question of creating an interim government, we decided to set up a five-member committee tasked with consulting with the forces of the revolution, the Free Syrian Army and friendly countries,” the council said. The Syrian National Council is an influential member of the National Coalition, which was set up in Doha in November in a bid to unify opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Since it was formed, the National Coalition has been recognised by scores of states and organisations as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
Syria’s 22-month revolt has been racked by political schisms and unmet promises of financial and military aid by the international community, dissidents say.
The opposition said the five-member committee would also be tasked with exploring “the extent of (opposition and international) commitment in order for the work to be financially and politically feasible.” The panel includes, among others, National Coalition chief Moaz al-Khatib, Syrian National Council head George Sabra and prominent Paris-based dissident, Burhan Ghalioun. The opposition is due to meet again on January 28 in Paris, along with representatives of some 20 countries that back the revolt against Assad.