Syria's opposition names ambassador to France
PARIS (AP) - French President Francois Hollande and the new Syrian opposition leader announced plans on Saturday to install an ambassador to represent Syria in France.
The surprise move came after talks at France's presidential palace between Mr Hollande and Mr Moaz al-Khatib, head of the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition. France recognised the coalition days after it was formed on Sunday - and so far is the only Western country to do so.
Mr al-Khatib said the new envoy will be academic Mounzir Makhous, describing him as "one of the first to speak of liberty" in Syria. He holds four doctorate degrees and belongs to the Muslim Alawite sect of Islam, like Syrian President Bashar Assad, Mr al-Khatib said. The new envoy was at the talks on Saturday in Paris.
It was widely believed that France might agree to the appointment of an ambassador but not before a provisional Syrian government was formed. Mr al-Khatib suggested that a provisional government would come quickly.