News / Middle East

Turkey Recognizes Syrian Opposition

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu congratulates new Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib during the Meeting of the General Assembly of the Syrian National Council in Doha, Qatar, November 11, 2012.Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu congratulates new Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib during the Meeting of the General Assembly of the Syrian National Council in Doha, Qatar, November 11, 2012.
x
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu congratulates new Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib during the Meeting of the General Assembly of the Syrian National Council in Doha, Qatar, November 11, 2012.
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu congratulates new Syrian National Coalition head Mouaz al-Khatib during the Meeting of the General Assembly of the Syrian National Council in Doha, Qatar, November 11, 2012.
The newly formed coalition of Syrian opposition groups is getting another boost, this time from Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Thursday recognized the Syrian National Coalition "as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Syria."

His comments came at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Djibouti, one day after France became the first Western power to recognize the newly formed coalition.

Turkey on Thursday received backing from U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who says he favors giving Turkey anti-missile defense systems to place near its border with Syria.

Turkey, a member of the NATO, has asked the defense alliance to give protection to fend off missiles coming from Syria. Panetta said Turkey is facing a difficult situation because of the instability in Syria and the flow of refugees across the border.

Panetta made the comments Thursday in an exclusive interview with VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez.

Weapons

Also Thursday, France said it will bring up excluding defensive weapons from the current arms embargo on Syria in order to help rebels fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in an interview Thursday his country would work toward a coordinated plan for Syria with its European allies.

"For the moment, there is an embargo, so there are no arms being from the European side. The issue can be raised, it will no doubt be raised for defensive arms," he said. "And this is something that we can only do in coordination with the Europeans.''

​French President Francois Hollande will meet leaders of the Syrian opposition coalition in Paris on Saturday.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council has also recognized the rebel group.

The United States has declined to fully recognize the opposition coalition, saying the group must first prove its worth after its predecessor was dogged by feuding and accusations of Islamist domination.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the formation of the coalition, which supersedes the widely discredited Syrian National Council, was an important step, but did not offer it full recognition or arms.

Syria denounced the organization, which it said had closed the door to a negotiated solution with President Bashar al-Assad.

The fifth meeting of the Friends of the Syria will be held on November 30 in Tokyo. Japan will chair the meeting.

Gunfire from Syria struck near an Israeli military outpost in the Golan Heights early Thursday. The Israeli military said no one was injured by the incident.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid