Home / World

Opposition to take Syria's seat at Arab League

By Agencies in Cairo and Beirut | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-26 08:09

 Opposition to take Syria's seat at Arab League

A Syrian man escorts a boy away from fumes as a street covered with uncollected garbage is fumigated in the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday. Bulent Kilic / Agence France-Presse

The Syrian opposition will take over the country's vacant seat at the Arab League, a high-ranking league official said on Monday, a day ahead of a leaders' summit in Doha.

"The opposition has been invited to the Arab summit and will occupy Syria's seat at the Arab League," the official said, requesting anonymity.

The opposition National Coalition announced that it would send Ghassan Hitto, its interim prime minister, to the summit. The group's chief, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, quit on Sunday.

Khatib was expected to fly with a coalition delegation to Doha at the invitation of the league, which asked the coalition on March 6 to form an executive body.

But Khatib said he would address the meeting. "I have decided to give a speech in the name of the Syrian people at the Doha conference," he wrote on his Twitter account.

"This is a matter that has nothing to do with the resignation, which will be discussed later," he said.

Some political analysts said that the resignation of Khatib at this time added more complication and confusion to the Syrian situation.

"As his appointment as opposition leader caused confusion, Khatib's resignation will also cause confusion," said Sameh al- Mashad, dean of the international diplomatic club.

Khatib should have waited before announcing his resignation "so as not to shut the negotiation door with representatives of the Syrian government", Mashad said.

However, Mashad did not blame Khatib for the decision, noting that most of the European promises made during the latest meeting of Friends of Syria group in Rome were not kept.

Hany Khallaf, Egypt's former assistant foreign minister, attributed Khatib's resignation to his "obvious disagreement" with the newly appointed Western-backed Hitto.

The resignation is meant to pressure the international community and the Arab world to act positively to end the protracted crisis in Syria, experts said.

"The coalition chief resigned due to the slackness of the international community while the people are being slaughtered in Syria every day," Khatib's media adviser and coordinator, Mohammed Ali, said on Sunday.

Ali blamed the international community for "reluctant" support for the Syrian opposition in terms of weapons under the pretext that they might reach terrorists.

Momen Kouifatie, a Cairo-based author and Syrian exile, blamed the international and Arab communities for Khatib's resignation, arguing they did not fulfill their commitments to the Syrian people.

"His resignation could be a bid to urge the international community and the Arab League to work on providing weapons for the Syrian opposition," Kouifatie said, adding that members of the Arab League had refused to impose a no-fly zone in Syria "while the bloodshed is still going on".

Mohammed Mohsen Aboul-Nour, a researcher of international relations at the Arab League, said, through his resignation, "Khatib attempted to hit two birds with one stone".

He noted that the Syrian opposition was split between the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian National Council and that Khatib struggled to unite them but in vain.

He said that the United States, France, Turkey, Qatar and other nations "want to achieve political gains and interests from the Syrian issue by using the opposition, regardless of the basic issues facing the Syrian people".

Xinhua - AFP

(China Daily 03/26/2013 page12)

Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349