KEYWORDS TODAY:   BUDGETCARETAKER GOVERNMENTBSPRESIGNATIONKTB

HOT: » Center-right GERB party's decision to boycott Parliament puts key updates of 2014's state budget into question

EU Foreign Ministers Meet Syrian Opposition Head

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | December 10, 2012, Monday // 18:20| Views: 594 | Comments: 0
  • Send to Kindle
Bulgaria: EU Foreign Ministers Meet Syrian Opposition Head Head of the National Coalition of Forces of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition, Ahmad Mouaz Al-Khatib arrives to a meeting with European foreign affairs ministers in Brussels, 10 December 2012. EPA/BGNES

EU foreign ministers have met the head of the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition which several believe should be recognized as the legitimate replacement for President Bashar al-Assad.

Welcoming Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib "is a clear signal of how the status of the Syrian coalition is being reviewed," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said as he went into a meeting with his EU colleagues at which the bloody conflict in Syria is a major talking point, international media reported.

"It is a coalition which represents the legitimate interests of the Syrian people. We want that to be recognised as such by the European Union," Westerwelle added.

Earlier British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was happy that EU ministers would meet Khatib and hoped that other member states would follow Paris and London in giving the group full recognition.

The EU currently recognizes the coalition as "legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people," which falls short of recognising it outright as a potential successor government.

Full recognition could allow Western powers to arm rebel forces seeking to oust President Assad but that is a sensitive issue, with some EU member states very cautious about the possible unintended consequences of such a step.

EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton met Khatib earlier Monday, saying she had stressed that the new coalition had to ensure that it included all opinion in Syria and that it was committed to democratic standards.

Khatib has visited London and Paris but his meeting Monday with the 27 EU foreign ministers "has a larger symbolic importance," one diplomat said.

After the talks, the European Commission announced that it would provide another EUR 30 M in humanitarian aid to help people affected by the Syrian civil war, bringing its total contribution to some EUR 126 M

Bulgaria's EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said that the "humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating daily" and the increased aid was a gesture of support until "a viable political solution to this terrible conflict can be found."

Bulgaria in EU » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: EU, European Union, EU foreign ministers, Guido Westerwelle, William Hague, Kristalina Georgieva, Catherine Ashton, civil war, Syria, Syrian rebels, Bashar Al-Assad, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!

Leave a comment


Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria