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.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence's own witness contradicts athlete's version of events
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain Lee Joon-seok could face criminal investigation as over 280 remain missing
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...