Britain meets with Syrian opposition head

LONDON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- British leaders say they're meeting with Syrian opposition leaders in London Friday to learn the group's plans before deciding whether to recognize it.

Before the talks began with opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib, British Foreign Minister William Hague said he wanted to learn about the support base the group has inside Syria, Voice of America reported.


Hague said he also wanted to learn from the Muslim cleric how the Kurdish minority would be included in the opposition government and any possible leadership appointments.

Hague said Britain would decide whether to formally recognize the group within "the coming days."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Thursday formerly recognized the Syrian National Coalition "as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Syria."

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council has also recognized the rebel group.

France Wednesday became the first Western power to recognize the newly formed coalition. French President Francois Hollande is to meet with Syrian opposition leaders in Paris Saturday.

The United States so far hasn't fully recognized the opposition coalition, saying it must first demonstrate its sincerity after its predecessor was hampered by infighting and accusations of Islamist domination, VOA said.


Syria denounced the organization.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said it documented 115 deaths on Thursday, including 11 children and five women.

Fifty of the deaths were reported in the Damascus area and 21 in Aleppo, the network said in a release. Sixteen other deaths were reported in Homs and 10 in Idlib.

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