First Published: 2012-12-12

 

Syria opposition urges US to review Al-Nusra blacklist

 

British FM describes growing recognition of Syrian National Coalition as real progress.

 

Middle East Online

Saudi Arabia pledged financial assistance to the Syrian opposition

MARRAKESH, Morocco - The opposition National Coalition, newly recognised by Washington as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, on Wednesday urged the US to review its blacklisting of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front.

"The decision to blacklist one of the groups fighting the regime as a terrorist organisation must be re-examined," the bloc's leader, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, said at a meeting in Morocco of the Friends of Syria group that includes the United States.

"We can have ideological and political differences with certain parties, but the revolutionaries all share the same goal: to overthrow the criminal regime" of President Bashar al-Assad.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama recognised the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the nation's people. It also blacklisted as a terrorist group the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front, which US officials fear seeks to hijack the revolution.

Khatib's comments came after strong criticism of the US move by a key mainstream rebel commander on the ground and by the influential Muslim Brotherhood, which is an important component of the opposition coalition.

Meanwhile, Friends of Syria are to recognise the newly-formed opposition coalition as "the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, a statement obtained by AFP showed.

"The participants acknowledged the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and the umbrella organisation under which Syrian opposition groups are gathering," said the statement to be approved by a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Morocco on Wednesday.

The meeting in the southern city of Marrakesh has brought together representatives of more than 100 countries for talks on the 21-month conflict rocking Syria.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague described the growing recognition of the National Coalition as "real progress."

"Then the important thing is to channel more assistance through them -- in our case ... non-lethal assistance... and then of course we need more humanitarian aid," Hague told reporters before the start of the meeting.

Under pressure to unite, the Syrian opposition agreed in Doha on November 11 to establish the National Coalition and group the various rebel forces under a supreme military council.

But jihadist rebels in Aleppo, a key front line in northern Syria, rejected the coalition, saying they want an Islamic state.

 

Erdogan resumes Gulen arrests after referendum win

France says has proof that Syrian regime behind 'chemical attack'

Trump says Assad's future 'not a deal breaker' on Syria

Iraq holding hundreds of millions of Qatar’s ransom money

Global leaders call for ridding world 'forever' of chemical arms

Exiled Turkish journalist urges EU to confront Erdogan

Morocco seizes 420 tonnes of plastic bags in year since ban

Mass funeral for dozens slain in Syria bus attack

Qatar insists Baghdad had ‘full knowledge’ of hostage deal

UN eyes new Yemen peace talks

Turkey opposition heads to European court to challenge referendum

Turkey says informed US, Russia prior to Kurdish strikes

Iraqi forces liberate ancient city of Hatra from IS

Saudi fire stops explosives-laden boat from Yemen

50 Syria migrants stranded on Morocco-Algeria border

Libya asks EU for patrol boats to stem migrant wave

Bangladesh approves Saudi-funded mosque project

German Chancellor regrets Israel snub of foreign minister

UAE sentences Iranian to 10 years for sanctions breach

IS using weaponised drones in battle for key Syria dam

Saudi government shake-up strengthens position of king's son

Israel allows NGO director visa after 'bias' row

Kuwait suspect confesses to plotting IS attacks

Russia has thwarted IS attack on far east oil hub Sakhalin

Death toll in Turkish air raids on Syria Kurds rises to 28

Draft resolution to pressure Polisario to withdraw from Guerguerat

Baghdad condemns Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish forces

Iran, major powers to review adherence to nuclear deal

Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish forces in Iraq, Syria

IS executes Iraqi civilians in Mosul

Netanyahu cancels talks with German FM over NGO meetings

Qatar World Cup workers receive random health checks

Libyan government calls for foreign intervention as fighting spreads

Tunisia parliament votes to ease harsh drug law

Nostalgia dominates Iraqi Ba’ath conference in Spain

Young Iraqi innovator building home-made drones

Moroccans call on Le Pen voters to quit country

Turkey court rejects opposition challenge to referendum result

Spain arrests 4 for links to Belgium IS attacks

Iraq forces push towards UNESCO site in Hatra

Israel appoints country's first female sharia judge

Frontline clinic is window to hell of IS-held Mosul

Iraq forces retake west Mosul neighbourhood from IS

Iraqi Kurds lament ‘unacceptable’ Turkish air strikes

Khamenei urges Iran candidates to focus on home