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Syrian dissident pushes to unite fragmented opposition

Published on Nov 3, 2012 8:50 AM

AMMAN (Reuters) - The fragmented Syrian opposition will attempt once again this weekend to forge a common policy to gain international respect, obtain weapons and, most importantly, topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a formerly imprisoned dissident said.

"An alternative to the regime is dearly needed," said Riad Seif, a liberal politician who is battling cancer and managed to leave Syria only a few months ago after having been imprisoned.

Divisions between Islamists and secularists as well as between those inside Syria and opposition figures based abroad have thwarted prior attempts to forge a united opposition.

On Wednesday, the United States called for an overhaul of the Syrian opposition's leadership, saying it was time to move beyond the Syrian National Council (SNC), the largest of the groupings abroad, and bring in those "in the front lines fighting and dying".

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