Divisions emerge at Syrian opposition conference
DOHA, Qatar – Sharp disagreements arose Sunday on the first day of a Syrian opposition conference meant to forge a more cohesive leadership that the international community says is necessary before it will boost its support for those trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
The main opposition group in exile, the Syrian National Council, balked at a U.S.-backed plan that would largely sideline it to make room in a new leadership council for fighters and activists inside Syria. However, with international pressure mounting, the SNC also suggested it is willing to negotiate a compromise that would give the SNC more influence in a new leadership team.
The international community has long urged the SNC, widely seen as dysfunctional and out of touch, to broaden its base and include a greater spectrum of Syrian society, especially those fighting inside the country. Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was unusually harsh, suggesting the SNC’s leadership days are over.
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