Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The groups opposed to the Assad regime in Syria formed a coalition government earlier this week and almost immediately received recognition from several states as the legitimate government of Syria. Thus far, six Gulf Arab states and France have recognized the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces. The coalition takes the place of the former Syrian National Council and is led by Damascus preacher Mouaz Alkhatib, who has appealed for international recognition. France's recognition in particular was quite fulsome. It stated that it recognizes the new Syrian national coalition "as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and as future government of a democratic Syria making it possible to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad's regime".
Other states were more reserved. While Arab League and EU foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Tuesday welcomed the coalition's formation as an important step, they did not recognize it as Syria's sole authority. Likewise, the United States is proceeding more cautiously and is waiting to see whether the coalition lasts and is effective.