DOHA (Reuters) - Leaders of Syria’s main opposition group will attend an Arab League summit this week, the Qatari prime minister said on Sunday, looking for more support for the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The Arab League has suspended Assad’s membership and recognized the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) as the legitimate representative of the people of Syria where a two-year civil conflict has killed more than 70,000 people.
Qatar’s prime minister welcomed the SNC’s appointment of Ghassan Hitto as provisional prime minister - an appointment which upset liberals in the coalition who said the SNC was becoming dominated by foreign influences and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We look forward to their participation in the Arab summit the day after tomorrow (Tuesday),” Sheikh Hamad in Jabr al-Thani said at the opening of an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Doha, the Qatari capital where the summit will also take place.
Arab League foreign ministers agreed March 6 to let member nations arm Syrian rebels, and invited the opposition coalition to take the League seat formerly occupied by Damascus.
Previously the League had said only that the Syrian political opposition and rebels should be supported by humanitarian and diplomatic means.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have championed Syrian rebels, and called on the U.N. Security Council to adopt resolutions to end the conflict that has also displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by William Maclean and Robin Pomeroy