Mideast:Syrian National Coalition to open office in Istanbul

23 November, 16:16

(ANSAmed) - Ankara, November 23 - The newly formed Syrian National Coalition, which has been recognized by Turkey as the country's legitimate representative, will open an office in Istanbul, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Friday as Anatolia news agency reports.

Davutoglu met with Moaz al-Khatib, the head of the new opposition coalition, on Friday in the Turkish capital and held a press conference with Khatib after the bilateral meeting. Davutoglu said Khatib was elected by the coalition in a democratic way, adding that he is a well-respected man who contributed greatly to the restructuring of the Syrian opposition. The foreign minister also reiterated Turkey's recognition of the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Syrian anti-government groups struck a deal last month after more than a week of meetings in the Qatari capital of Doha to form a new opposition leadership that will include representatives from the country's disparate factions fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The new umbrella group, called the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, was also recognized by France, one of the harshest critics of Assad, whose military crackdown on a 20-month-old uprising against his rule has killed over 38,000 people. (ANSAmed).

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