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Syrian opposition groups reach unity deal

November 12, 2012 • World News


George Sabra, the new head of the main Syrian opposition bloc in exile, the Syrian National Council, speaks to reporters during a press conference on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the Syrian National Council meeting in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Sabra struck a combative tone Saturday, saying international inaction rather than divisions among anti-regime groups are to blame for the inability to end the bloodshed in Syria. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Syrian anti-government groups struck a deal Sunday under intense international pressure to form a new opposition leadership that will include representatives from the country’s disparate factions fighting to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime, activists said.

The opposition has been deeply divided for months despite the relentless bloodshed in Syria and repeated calls from their Western and Arab supporters to create a cohesive and representative leadership that could present a single conduit for foreign aid. The agreement, reached Sunday after more than a week of meetings in the Qatari capital of Doha, could boost efforts to secure international support — and potentially weapons — that will be crucial in the war to oust Assad.

“We have agreed on the broad platform and all (opposition) parties, without any exception, support this initiative,” said Ali Sadr el-Din Bayanouni, a former Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader who took part in the talks.

He said the new leadership will be called the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces.

Later Sunday, the delegates elected Islamic preacher Maath al-Khatib president of the new Login to read more

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