US nod to Syria council

Barack Obama has declared Syria’s main opposition group the sole “legitimate representative” of its country’s people, deeming the move “a big step” in the international diplomatic efforts to end Syrian president Bashar Assad’s regime.

Obama said the newly formed Syrian Opposition Council “is now inclusive enough” to be granted the elevated status.

“Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities,” the president said, “to make sure they organise themselves effectively, they are representative of all the parties, they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women’s rights and minority rights.”

Recognition of the council brings the US in line with Britain, France and several of America’s Arab allies, which took the same step shortly after the body was created last month.

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