Syria opposition welcomes Brahimi comments criticizing Assad

LONDON Wed Jan 9, 2013 2:08pm EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Syria's main opposition group the Syrian National Coalition on Wednesday welcomed comments by international peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi criticizing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Brahimi earlier told the BBC a speech by Assad on Sunday was a "lost opportunity" to end the crisis in Syria and that Assad's initiatives to end the violence were "sectarian and one-sided". He also said the Assad family's more than 40-year rule was "too long".

"The statement of Lakhdar Brahimi has been long-awaited. He hasn't criticized Bashar al-Assad before," the coalition's representative to Britain Walid Saffour told Reuters.

"But now after he despaired after Assad's Sunday speech, he had no other alternative than to the say to the world that this rule is a family rule, and more than 40 years is enough." (Reporting by Mohammed Abbas)

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