Last Updated: Tue Oct 11, 2011 16:54 pm (KSA) 13:54 pm (GMT)

Egypt’s largest political bloc recognizes Syria’s opposition council

Syrian opposition figure Samir Nashar (C) addresses a meeting in Istanbul Oct. 2, 2011. Syria’s main opposition groups agreed on Sunday to join a newly formed National Council, giving a major boost to President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents. (Photo by Reuters)
Syrian opposition figure Samir Nashar (C) addresses a meeting in Istanbul Oct. 2, 2011. Syria’s main opposition groups agreed on Sunday to join a newly formed National Council, giving a major boost to President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents. (Photo by Reuters)

The Democratic Coalition for Egypt, made up of about 40 political parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, the Wafd Party, and the Salafist al-Nour Party, recognized the recently formed Syrian opposition National Unity Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

The announcement was made during a meeting between several coalition leaders, including Wafd Secretary-General el-Sayed Badawi, with a delegation of the Syrian council led by opposition figure Samir Nashar, Al Ahram Gate reported on Tuesday

During the meeting, Badawi announced support for the Syrian demands for freedom, recalling the Egyptian-Syrian Union, which was in existence from 1958 to 1961.

The Democratic Coalition for Egypt is expected to win the majority of seats in the Egyptian parliament and is likely to form an elected government in the future.

“We were in great need for the support of the Egyptian people to affirm its solidarity with the Syrian people, who bear the pain and the suffering because the Assad regime is practicing suppression to silence the voice of Syrians,” opposition figure Nashar said.

Last Sunday, Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem, warned that his country would retaliate against any outside party that formally recognizes the National Council set up by opponents of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

“We will take tough measures against any state which recognizes this illegitimate council,” he said.

Formed in Istanbul at the end of August, the Syrian National Council unites all the major known factions opposing Assad’s rule, both inside and outside Syria.

It includes the Local Coordination Committees, an activist network spurring protests in Syria, the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Kurdish and Assyrian groups.

The formation of the council has been welcomed by Western countries including the United States and France. However, unlike the transitional council set up by Libyan rebels who overthrew Muammar Qaddafi, they have not offered it any formal recognition.

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