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Hollande to meet with SNC head Khatib

Nov. 15, 2012 at 6:13 PM   |   Comments

PARIS, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande is set to meet with the new head of Syria's opposition, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, in Paris to discuss sending arms to Syria.

The meeting, scheduled for Saturday, came after France officially recognized the Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people, Radio France Internationale reported.

Hollande and Khatib will discuss the possibility of excluding "defensive weapons" from the European arms embargo on Syria, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Thursday.

Fabius said he will ask the European Union to review its arms embargo on the rebels.

"The issue will be raised because the coalition has asked us to do so," he said, adding, "This is something that we can only do in coordination with the Europeans."

Turkey Thursday also recognized the SNC as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, Hurriyet Daily News reported. However, Turkey stopped short of recognizing the coalition as the sole representative of the country, unlike France.

"Turkey, wholeheartedly welcoming this important achievement, once again reiterates its recognition of the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and calls upon all our brothers in the OIC to do so," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in his address to the Organization of the Islamic Conference ministerial meeting in Djibouti.

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