France recognizes new Syria opposition

France became the first European power to recognize Syria’s new opposition coalition as the sole representative of its people and said on Tuesday it would look into arming rebels against President Bashar al-Assadonce they form a government.

Twenty months into their bloody uprising against Assad, fragmented Syrian opposition groups struck a deal in Qatar on Sunday to form a broad coalition and their leader immediately appealed for European backing.

“I announce today that France recognizes the Syrian National Council as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and as future government of a democratic Syria making it possible to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime,” French President Francois Hollande said, breaking ranks with European allies. Six Gulf Arab states took a similar step on Monday.

Source and full story: Yahoo News/Reuters, 13 Nov 2012

Tom Sullivan