Leader of Syrian opposition Mouaz al-Khatib resigns citing lack of support from international community
Sunday 24 March 2013
Mouaz al-Khatib, the leader of Syria’s opposition coalition, has resigned, citing a lack of support from the international community.
The respected preacher headed the Syrian National Coalition, which is seen as the most credible body among those trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
In a statement on his Facebook page, al-Khatib suggested that certain “red lines” had been crossed, saying the Syrian people had not been given the means to “defend themselves”.
“I am keeping my promise today and announcing my resignation from the National Coalition so that I can work with freedom that is not available inside the official institutions,” he said.
“All that has happened to the Syrian people – from destruction of infrastructure to the arrest of tens of thousands to the displacement of hundreds of thousands to other tragedies – is not enough for an international decision to allow the Syrian people to defend themselves.”
The Coalition was formed in November, and served as the opposition’s official means of communicating with other countries and co-ordinating the rebel forces.
But al-Khatib said many “international and regional parties” had tried to push the opposition towards dialogue with the regime when many of those fighting against Assad believe the regime is responsible for too many deaths to be part of any solution.
Some members of the Coalition have complained that Qatar – which offers substantial financial backing to the opposition – and the Muslim Brotherhood have too big a say in the body’s workings.
Al-Khatib’s spokesman confirmed the resignation in a phone call with The Associated Press.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was sorry to learn of the preacher’s resignation, but claimed that it won’t affect his country’s co-operation with the Coalition. He said the opposition is “bigger than one person and that opposition will continue”.
Prior to the Syrian National Coalition, the main umbrella organisation for the opposition was the Syrian National Council, whose former leader spoke out on hearing of al-Khatib’s announcement.
Burhan Ghalioun told Al Arabiya TV that while he and other Coalition members were surprised by the decision, world powers haven’t provided adequate aid and unnamed countries have interfered with the Coalition’s work.
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...