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Paris ambassador for Syrian opposition

Nov. 17, 2012 at 8:05 PM

PARIS, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande invited a Syrian opposition leader Saturday to send an ambassador to Paris.

Hollande met with Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, head of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, The New York Times reported. The coalition plans to set up a provisional government in opposition to President Bashar Assad.

Khatib said he plans to name Mounzir Makhous as the ambassador. Makhous, like Assad, is an Alawite, a minority sect within Islam.

The Syrian Embassy in Paris remains the property of the Damascus government, so Hollande said France would find an office for Makhous.

Hollande also said at a foreign ministers meeting Monday he would urge the European Union to help arm the Syrian opposition.

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