France recognizes new Syria opposition


news.yahoo.com

CAIRO/PARIS (Reuters) – 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-Assad once 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.

The question of arming the rebels would be looked at as soon as the rebel coalition formed a transitional government, Hollande told a news conference in Paris.

Arab League and EU foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Tuesday welcomed the formation of the coalition as an important step forward, although their communiqué showed they had not reached a unanimous decision to recognize it as Syria’s sole authority.

The French announcement came just hours after Syria’s newly installed opposition leader urged European states to back the opposition so it could buy weapons.

Paris, one of Assad’s harshest critics, had previously ruled out arming rebel forces, concerned that weapons could get into the hands of radical Islamists.

Speaking to Reuters as Arab and European ministers met to discuss Syria at the Arab League in Cairo, Mouaz Alkhatib, the Damascus preacher elected unopposed on Sunday to lead the new group, had asked for diplomatic backing.

“I request European states to grant political recognition to the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and to give it financial support,” he said.

“When we get political recognition, this will allow the coalition to act as a government and hence acquire weapons and this will solve our problems,” added Alkhatib, who has been described by supporters as a moderate noted for his embrace of Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities.

So far, concerted action on Syria has been thwarted by divisions within the opposition, as well as by big power rivalries and a regional divide between Sunni Muslim foes of Assad and his Shi’ite allies in Iran and Lebanon.

Russia and China, which have lent Assad diplomatic support since the uprising erupted in March last year, have shown no sign of warming towards his Western- and Arab-backed opponents.

“STEP FORWARD”

Cajoled by Qatar and the United States, the ineffectual Syrian National Council, previously the main opposition body based abroad, agreed to join a wider coalition on Sunday.

Britain’s foreign minister, William Hague, said the coalition must show it had support within Syria before London would acknowledge it as the rightful government.

“If they have this, yes, we will then recognize them as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” he told reporters at the Arab-European meeting in Cairo.

The opposition had hoped its new-found unity would clear the way for outside powers to arm the rebels, but Western nations fear such weapons could reach the hands of Islamist militants.

Western concern has also been heightened by documented reports of atrocities by ill-disciplined insurgents.

“Syria’s newly created opposition front should send a clear message to opposition fighters that they must adhere to the laws of war and human rights law, and that violators will be held accountable,” New York-based Human Rights Watch said.

BORDER VIOLENCE

Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for 42 years, has vowed to fight to the death in a conflict that has already killed an estimated 38,000 people and risks sucking in other countries.

His warplanes again struck homes in Ras al-Ain, a town on the northern border seized by rebels last week. Civilians fled over the border dividing it from the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar and thick plumes of smoke billowed upwards.

Syrian jets and artillery hit the town of Albu Kamal on the frontier with Iraq, where rebels have seized some areas, according to the mayor of the Iraqi border town of Qaim.

Tension also remained high on the Golan Heights, where Israeli gunners have retaliated against stray Syrian mortar fire landing on the occupied plateau in the previous two days.

Twenty months of conflict have created a vast humanitarian crisis, with more than 408,000 Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries and up to four million expected to need aid by early next year, according to the United Nations.

Fighting has also displaced 2.5 million civilians inside Syria, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent estimates.

“If anything, they believe it could be more; this is a very conservative estimate,” Melissa Fleming, chief spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in Geneva.

“So people are moving, really on the run, hiding,” she told a news briefing. “They are difficult to count and access.”

In Cairo, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby urged opposition factions to join Alkhatib’s group, formally known as the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces.

But although six Gulf Arab nations recognized the coalition as Syria’s only legitimate representative on Monday, Iraq, Algeria and Lebanon prevented the League from following suit.

Iraq and Lebanon, with influential Shi’ite populations, have generally maintained better relations with Iran and with Assad, whose minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

  1. #1 by Al on November 13, 2012 - 9:16 pm

    Very interesting; if Syria, Palestinians and other freedom fighters defend themselves and fight against the invaders, they will be called wild terrorists but western countries can break the international laws, interfere in affairs of other countries and do anything under the mask of pursuit for democracy & liberty…

    Here the problem is, unfortunately many people in the western world still believe this garbage…

  2. #2 by sea on November 13, 2012 - 10:48 pm

    Clearly, many people in the ‘eastern world’ believe the trashmasters as well.

    Maybe the vote in France legitimizes the other six regimes who signed on, and justifies war on Syria?!

  3. #3 by Peter on November 14, 2012 - 1:58 am

    How a government can just recognise such a week old entity which is not even formed in a said country to represend a country is really very glaringly stupid and unjustified.

    One does not recognise for the sake of expediency or convenience being your ally.

    This recognition has made France sooooo very cheap and makes a mockery of the word “Sovereign Recognition”.

    It is all about politics.

  4. #4 by sea on November 14, 2012 - 4:49 am

    Had to check to see if Francois’s middle name was israel.

    Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande.

  5. #5 by amerikagulag on November 14, 2012 - 4:35 pm

    Sarkozy was a mossad agent. It would be hard to believe he left without locking Israel into France. So this lock-step with the terrorists, er um, the ‘west’ shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  6. #6 by Erick on November 14, 2012 - 4:41 pm

    François is a former French American Foundation protégé…

  7. #7 by Ingrid B on November 14, 2012 - 7:23 pm

    they are all connected.. probably analy..

  8. #8 by goyishe on November 15, 2012 - 3:53 am

    i remember from my school days at Brandeis University in1970’s my student adviser’s words that when he was growing up that his parents used the term “‘goyishe kup,’” meaning that the “Non-Jews are Stupid”
    I learned that of “GOYISHE KUP” means that the “Cattle are STUPID”.I agree with the Jewish saying that American “GOYISHE KUP” are indeed” Stupid” as they believe that Muslem Kids who were unable to Fly a Cessna plane took it upon themselves to FLY a Boeing 767 & outwitted the US Military & Civilian authorities. The “Jewish Lightning Insurance Scam” of the 1960’s is still alive and well has been put to use by Larry Silverstein in putting 15 million cash down and comming out with 7 billion dollars for buidings where it would have cost a billion dollars to remove the asbestos The Americans believe that they decide who is elected President or for that that actual VOTE is really counted in deciding who represents them in the White House and congress.

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=911+missing+links+watch+movie&view=detail&mid=51A7141F33FBB715D84C51A7141F33FBB715D84C&first=0&qpvt=911+missing+links+watch+movie

    bollyn.com

    http://www.911missinglinks.com/

    whatreallyhappened.com

    http://www.dailypaul.com/253111/new-9-11-truth-documentary-among-most-watched-on-pbs-this-week

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ae911truth

    Yeh I agree that the AmericanNon-Jews are indeed “GOYISHE KUP” or “STUPID CATTLE”!

    The Israeli Defense Firm That Tallies The Iowa Caucus
    By Christopher Bollyn
    1-1-8

    The Iowa caucus is only a few days away and the nation’s attention will be directed to the results, which signify the beginning of the U.S. presidential race. But does anyone watch who tallies the results of the Iowa caucus?

    The Iowa caucus results were tallied in 2004 by a company that is headed by a man whose company was bought by Elron Electronics, the Israeli defense firm. I suspect that it will be the same this year. Don’t expect to see any grassroots political activists doing the tally in Iowa. The Israeli defense establishment takes care of that part of the American “democratic” election process.

    VOXEO

    In the summer of 2004, I first learned that a foreign and out-of-state company using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology tallied the Iowa caucus results.

    The system used to tally the 2004 Iowa caucus results was provided by a company called Voxeo, which was apparently based in Orlando, Florida. (Yellow flag goes up in the mind of those familiar with Orlando and electronic vote fraud history. See Bollyn article on Wang below.)

    The calls from the nearly 2,000 caucus centers in Iowa went to a Voxeo call center in Atlanta, Georgia.

    On January 31, 2005, I wrote to Michelle Bauer, Iowa’s Secretary of State with some questions about the use of Voxeo, a foreign company located in Florida, to tally the results of the Iowa caucus:

    Subject: How was the Iowa Caucus Tallied?

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