Newly united Syria opposition bids for diplomatic recognition
CAIRO (AFP) - The leader of Syria's newly united opposition headed to Arab League headquarters in Cairo to push for diplomatic recognition on Monday, buoyed by the hard-won unity deal among the disparate factions.
Mr Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, 52, a moderate Muslim cleric who quit Syria three months ago, was to be accompanied on his visit by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, whose government hosted the marathon four-day talks that culminated in Sunday's agreement.
The deal to form a new broad-based opposition structure to take the 20-month uprising forward drew a warm welcome from Western governments that had expressed mounting frustration with the leadership divisions that have plagued the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The new National Coalition wants to build on that support to win the sort of diplomatic recognition that the Libyan opposition won in its successful uprising against veteran dictator Moammar Gadhafi last year.