France became the first European power to recognize Syria’s new opposition coalition as the sole representative of its people. Six Arab states of the Persian Gulf also recognized the Syrian opposition on Monday.
“I announce today that France recognizes the Syrian National Council as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and as future government of a democratic Syria making it possible to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad's regime,” French President Francois Hollande said. (Reuters, 13 November)
The French president also said France would arm the opposition as soon as they form a transitional government to take power in Syria.
Mouaz Alkhatib, the leader of the new opposition coalition, had asked EU countries to recognize his newly formed coalition.
“I request European states to grant political recognition to the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and to give it financial support,” Alkhatib said. “When we get political recognition, this will allow the coalition to act as a government and hence acquire weapons and this will solve our problems,” he added. (Reuters, 12 November)