Syria's new opposition coalition to appoint "ambassador" to France

2012-11-19 00:58:10 GMT2012-11-19 08:58:10(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Syria's newly-formed opposition coalition will install an envoy to France, French President Francois Hollande announced Saturday.

"There will be a Syrian ambassador in France who will be appointed by the president of the coalition," Hollande told reporters after meeting here with head of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces Moaz al-Khatib.

At a joint press conference, al-Khatib said Monzir Makhous, an academic and "a free man who always worked for the Syrian people" will be the new envoy.

The move came after France became the first European power to hail Syria's new opposition coalition as the sole representative of its people and as "future government of a democratic Syria" making it possible to end Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration.

Breaking ranks with his European partners, Hollande said he felt "honored that France was the first," expressing hopes that "what was done and decided by France could serve as an example or even as a process."

After a five-day meeting held in the Qatari capital of Doha, Syrian opposition signed last Sunday an agreement to form the new coalition in the hope of having a unified entity to face the administration of President al-Assad.

The new coalition mainly is composed of opposition groups outside Syria and activists from inside the country as well as rebels' commanders.

Once the new coalition wins international recognition, its members will form an interim government in exile and call for a national conference as soon as the current Syrian administration is ousted, according to a draft of the agreement.

But the Syrian opposition at home rejected the formation of the coalition and the idea of an interim government in exile. Many Western countries are holding back to recognize the newly-born coalition over the presence of radical Islamists.

Hollande and al-Khatib "discussed the way with which the coalition will organize itself to ensure not only its legitimacy but also its credibility," the French leader noted.

Paris will discuss with its European partners ways to remove the ban on arming Syrian fighters after the opposition unity deal at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, Hollande said.

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Editor: Yu Runze
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