First Published: 2013-01-21

 

Syrian government-in-exile: Not without Qatar’s money

 

Opposition postpones decision on forming government-in-exile as Khatib leaves to Qatar to secure promises of financial aid.

 

Middle East Online

Qatar has final say

BEIRUT - The Syrian opposition said on Monday it had postponed a decision on forming a government-in-exile at its meeting in Istanbul.

Sources at negotiations in Istanbul said that the head of Syria’s opposition coalition has flown to Qatar to secure promises of financial aid for a transitional government.

“It seems that there won’t be a government unless Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib comes back from Qatar with enough to convince enough members of the coalition that any government they set up will be viable,” said one coalition member who declined to be identified.

“There is agreement on the need to establish a transitional government but the majority opinion favors not to form it now without secure areas to operate in and enough international support and guarantees for direct recognition,” coalition member Ahmad Ramadan said.

“Otherwise the government will be born paralyzed,” he added.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the primary organized force in the Syrian opposition, has made it clear it does not favor a government at present.

But opposition sources said the Brotherhood could change its mind if regional powers, especially Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf states, throw their support behind the project.

“Between the military effort and humanitarian and administration needs, a transitional government needs up to $40 million a day to operate. There is no point creating a government that cannot meet the aspirations of the revolt,” another source said.

The Syrian opposotion also says that it needs guarantees of support from dissident forces on the ground.

The Syrian National Council (SNC), a key component of the opposition, said the meeting held on Sunday formed a five-member panel to consult with the rebel Free Syrian Army, and other concerned parties on the issue.

"After studying the proposals and after deliberation on the question of creating an interim government, we decided to set up a five-member committee tasked with consulting with the forces of the revolution, the Free Syrian Army and friendly countries," the council said.

The Syrian National Council is an influential member of the National Coalition, which was set up in Doha in November in a bid to unify opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Since it was formed, the National Coalition has been recognised by scores of states and organisations as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Syria's 22-month revolt has been racked by political schisms and unmet promises of financial and military aid by the international community, dissidents say.

The opposition said the five-member committee would also be tasked with exploring "the extent of (opposition and international) commitment in order for the work to be financially and politically feasible."

The panel includes, among others, National Coalition chief Moaz al-Khatib, Syrian National Council head George Sabra and prominent Paris-based dissident, Burhan Ghalioun.

The opposition is due to meet again on January 28 in Paris, along with representatives of some 20 countries that back the revolt against Assad.

More than 60,000 people have been killed so far in the conflict that erupted in March 2011, according to United Nations figures.

 

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015

Gulf stock markets tumble

Australia mourns Sydney cafe siege victims

Hostages flee as police storm Sydney café

Erdogan to EU: Mind your own business!

Syria PM in Iran for talks with key ally

22 Swiss jihadists fighting abroad

#illridewithyou: Australians stand in solidarity with Muslims

Sydney siege 'lone wolf' or IS-led attack?

EU support UN efforts for Aleppo ceasefire

Saudi policeman killed in Riyadh hostage-taking

Saudi king receives Jordan monarch

Palestinians push UN bid to end Israeli occupation