Arab League gives Syrian seat to opposition

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Associated Press

Posted on March 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — In a symbolic blow to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, senior Arab diplomats say the Arab League has decided to transfer Syria's seat to opposition forces.

The decision is unlikely to mean much in practical terms to Assad's regime, which has already been abandoned by many Arab states that are siding with rebel forces. But it reflects pressure by key rebel backers — Qatar and Saudi Arabia — for a show of Arab solidarity against Assad at a two-day Arab League summit beginning Tuesday in Doha.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr Kamel said Sunday that Syrian opposition can now send an envoy to the summit.

Earlier, Qatar's prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, urged the new head of the Syrian opposition's interim government, Ghassan Hitto, to attend.

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