US May Soon Recognize Syrian Opposition

Phones, Internet still cut off
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2012 8:55 AM CST
US May Soon Recognize Syrian Opposition
Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she speaks during a ceremony in recognition of World AIDS Day, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, at the State Department in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Syria's new opposition coalition is working toward a transitional government—and if it achieves the goal soon, formal US recognition may not be far behind. Britain, France, Turkey, and the Gulf Cooperation Council recognize the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, as it's formally called, but the US retains some concerns, including the impact of such recognition on Russia's willingness to aid in a transition. President Obama hasn't approved the move yet, but it could come at a Friends of Syria meeting Hillary Clinton will attend Dec. 12, the New York Times reports—if the Syrian coalition is running smoothly.

The coalition is "a legitimate representative of the Syrian people's aspirations," said US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford yesterday. It has "a vision that we strongly support of a country that would be democratic, that would respect human rights, and that would be a force for stability in the region." While recognition would carry increased humanitarian and logistical aid for the opposition, it wouldn't likely mean American military support, the AP notes. Meanwhile, continued fighting was reported south of Damascus last night; telephone and Internet services are still cut off, the AP reports. (More Syria stories.)

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