Western-backed Syrian opposition names cabinet for rebel areas

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 12, 2013 3:35 AM

AMMAN (Reuters) - The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition opposition grouping named a provisional government on Tuesday for rebel-held areas after three days of heated discussions in Istanbul, and despite Western opposition, coalition members said.

The United States and other Western backers of the coalition are hoping that proposed peace negotiations in Geneva will produce an interim administration as a way out of the civil war, which began in 2011.

The West fears that by pre-empting that with a de facto cabinet, the opposition will hamper progress. However, although the SNC serves as a channel for Western support for the rebels, its leaders are all outside Syria and their influence on the disparate rebel groupings is patchy at best.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey)