News / Middle East

    Obama: US Now Recognizes New Syrian Opposition Coalition

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    President Barack Obama has announced formal U.S. recognition of the Syrian opposition coalition, calling it the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. 
     
    The announcement comes after months in which Obama and U.S. officials carefully assessed capabilities and the composition of the Syrian opposition, and the cohesiveness of the new coalition formed in Qatar in November.
     
    The president made the announcement during an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News on the eve of a meeting in Morocco of Syrian opposition leaders and supporters.
     
    "We made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population," he said. 
     
    The United States lagged behind other countries and regional groupings in recognizing the coalition, including France, Britain, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
     
    The announcement came on the eve of the meeting in Morocco of the Syrian opposition and supporters. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is attending the Friends of Syria meeting.
     
    Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, before the announcement of recognition, that the U.S. has been pleased with the progress made so far by the opposition and looks to a future Syria without President Bashar al-Assad.
     
    "As we look to tomorrow’s meeting and our ongoing efforts to support the Syrian people, let me be absolutely clear:  The United States stands with the Syrian people in insisting that any transition process result in a peaceful, unified, democratic Syria, in which all citizens are protected -- Sunni, Alawite, Christians, Kurds, Druze, men, women and children.  And a future of this kind cannot include Bashar al-Assad," he said. 
     
    At the same time, Carney reiterated that the U.S. has no plans to supply anything but non-lethal and humanitarian aid to the opposition.
     
    Carney also underscored President Obama's warning against any use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons, saying there would be consequences if they are used.
     
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested on Tuesday that there is less concern now about the use of chemical weapons. 

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Michael from: USA
    December 12, 2012 9:56 AM
    The French opened the way from it's age-old love affair with Syria. Syria was the springboard upon which early Christianity was launched into the world

    by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: USA
    December 12, 2012 4:01 AM
    Will any one of our 'picks' among the rebels -- or any of our anti-Assad Arab-Muslim 'allies', e.g. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan -- openly and sincerely dissociate with the "Nusrah Front" and other openly anti-USA Sunni Jihadi terrorist outfits in Syria?

    President Obama, Please, stay out of the mess.

    by: Igor from: Russia
    December 11, 2012 10:40 PM
    Mr.Obama's recognition is similar to previous US presidents's recognition of the Khmer Rouge regime in the UN after that regime genocided nearly 3 million Cambodians and then ousted by Vietnam army. The West recognized the Khmer Rouge in the UN until 1993 as long as it was the enemy of Vietnam no matter what crime against humanity that regime had made. Do not believe in the West's double standard!!!
    In Response

    by: venze from: Malaysia
    December 12, 2012 9:33 PM
    Well, in the political arena, the enemy of one's enemy becomes one's friend, no matter how short-lived that may be.
    On the one hand, US tries desperately to eliminate the terrorists. On the other, it supports the front that consists of extremists. Madness. (vzc1943)

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    December 11, 2012 9:04 PM
    It is still hard to comprehend, as to why??? Russia and Mr. Putin have not joined all the nations working on the transition of Syrian gvmts. The rest of the countries are trying to organize a transition to reduce/minimize the possibility of a long power vacuum; all have a direct national interests, on the Syrian debacle and need to manage Assad's doomed situation. Well maybe the issue wrt the nationl interests of Russia needs to be spelled out! If an orderly transition, under a UN agreement/mandate/supervision/monitoring/enforcement does not take place" A GREAT POSSIBILITY EXISTS THAT SYRIA'S FAILED GVMT WEAPONS, WHICH RUSSIA SUPPLIED, WILL FALL IN THE WRONG HANDS, AND END UP IN RUSSIA'S CAUCUSES / CHECHNYA REGION". Given that the weapons were of Russian origin, they are indistinguishable from those used by Russia; especially the older versions, of which Assad has many. Terrorist groups prefer to use local type of weapons, when possible, for obvious reasons (trg/use/handling/storage/familiarity.....etc). It is shear folly as to why? Mr. Putin is not rapidly addressing the issue of working towards a controlled transition in Syria, rather than allowing a potential power vacuum. Russia, US, allies, including the Arab nations backing the opposition, need to work rapidly towards an orderly transition of power- not just for the sake of ending the terrible suffering of all the Syrian people, but even for their own security interests.

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