Rebels: Syria govt-in-exile 'stillborn'

2012-08-01 22:15


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Beirut - Syria's rebels said on Wednesday that a government-in-exile headed by a splinter group of dissidents was "stillborn" and that it did not represent the opposition's demands.

The rebels' comments came a day after exiled dissident Haytham al-Maleh, 81, said in Cairo he had been tasked by a coalition of independent dissidents to create a government-in-exile based in the Egyptian capital.

"This government-in-exile was stillborn because it was made by a single group that does not represent the whole of the opposition," the rebel Free Syrian Army's spokespeson inside Syria told AFP. "It does not meet the people's demands."

A transitional government would require consensus, Colonel Kassem Saadeddine said. "Any project that marginalises groups in the country is a failure."

The FSA's Saadeddine added that any transitional government should represent both the opposition inside the embattled country and the exiled Syrian National Council - the country's main opposition coalition.

Maleh is a lawyer and human rights activist who has spent several years in prison in his homeland. He said he decided to form a transitional government for fear that a vacuum might arise should President Bashar al-Assad fall.

The SNC said on Tuesday that it was too early to form a government in exile and that Maleh's announcement that he had been tasked with forming one was damaging.

"The formation of a government in exile was a hasty decision, and we wish it had not happened," SNC chief Abdel Basset Sayda told AFP. "It actually weakens the opposition."

Read more on:    bashar al-assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict

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