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Britain in secret talks with Syrian rebels
Posted By admin On November 19, 2011 @ 4:27 am In Tile,World News | Comments Disabled
London Independent 
November 19, 2011
Britain has formally opened talks with the Syrian opposition movement as international pressure continues to mount against the beleaguered regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Frances Guy, a former ambassador to Lebanon, met members of the exiled opposition in Paris yesterday. The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is to meet members of the Syrian opposition in London next week when they will also hold talks with senior officials in Downing Street.
Although the UK, along with other Western states like France – which appealed to the United Nations yesterday to impose tougher sanctions – has been in informal contact with the opposition for the last three months, the progression of the working relationship opens up the prospect of the rebels eventually being recognised as the country’s representatives and supplanting the Assad regime.
The West’s Libyan mission started in a similar fashion with the country’s revolutionaries, but senior diplomatic sources warned against drawing parallels. “This is not about recognition of them as the government – that is not the case,” said a senior diplomatic source. “The difference with the Libyan situation was that the Libyan National Transitional Council controlled swathes of the country. We are asking the Syrian opposition to present a coherent set of policies and organise themselves.” The Syrian National Council and the National Co-ordination Committee for Democratic Change are among the groups whose leaders have been involved in the talks.
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URLs in this post:
 London Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/britain-in-secret-talks-with-syrian-rebels-6264592.html
 Syrian opposition says it is ready for conditional peace talks: http://www.prisonplanet.com/syrian-opposition-says-it-is-ready-for-conditional-peace-talks.html
 Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels: http://www.prisonplanet.com/libya%e2%80%99s-new-rulers-offer-weapons-to-syrian-rebels.html
 Syrian rebels tried to kill Assad’s top aides, Israeli officials confirm: http://www.prisonplanet.com/syrian-rebels-tried-to-kill-assads-top-aides-israeli-officials-confirm.html
 Britain, France urged to show restraint before arming Syrian rebels: http://www.prisonplanet.com/britain-france-urged-to-show-restraint-before-arming-syrian-rebels.html
 Assad may be offered clemency by Britain and US if he joins peace talks: http://www.prisonplanet.com/assad-may-be-offered-clemency-by-britain-and-us-if-he-joins-peace-talks.html
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