Saturday, November 3, 2012

West supports Qatar plan to unify terrorist Syrian opposition

An insurgent keeps an eye out for Syrian government forces in the Karmel al-Jabl district of Aleppo city on October 31, 2012.

Source: Press TV

The US, Britain and other western states have backed a Qatari plan that seeks creation of a consistent Syrian opposition that would engage in talks with Damascus government, or provide greater arms supports to insurgents if negotiations fail.

The plan, due to be formally introduced in Qatar’s capital city of Doha on November 8, will unify foreign-based Syrian opposition groups with armed groups fighting on the ground, the Guardian reported on Friday.

A blueprint for the plan, known as the Syrian National Initiative, is outlined in a document put forward by Riad Seif, a Syrian dissident driving the council’s formation.

The Doha initiative has been organized by the Qatari government, and the US, Britain and France have already thrown weight behind it.

Russia, however, opposes the plan, stating that it violates earlier international agreements that seek formation of a new Syrian government by "mutual consent" of parties involved in the conflict.

The Istanbul-based Syrian National Council (SNC), the leadership of the main opposition group, also dismissed the plan, arguing that it attempts to mitigate SNC influence.

Washington's decision to shift support away from the SNC and swing it behind the Doha initiative comes as US officials are deeply frustrated over the exile group's failure to incorporate all internal and external factions of the Syrian opposition.

"We've made it clear that the SNC can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition," the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said on October 31.

"They can be part of a larger opposition, but that opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice that needs to be heard," she pointed out.

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