Syria Opposition Again Can't Form Government

Second attempt by Syrian National Coalition fails
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2013 3:43 AM CST
Free Syrian Army fighters hold their weapons during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andoni Lubaki)

(Newser) – Two months after Syria's fractious opposition movement came together to form the Syrian National Coalition, a second attempt to form a transitional government has failed. SNC leaders said Istanbul talks broke up with no agreement on an interim prime minister to run opposition-held areas, Reuters reports. It's yet another blow to the credibility of the SNC, which is rife with internal divisions and power struggles that could undermine support from the West and other parts of the world. New proposals on forming a transitional government are expected within 10 days. Nevertheless, "this is a big blow for the revolution against Bashar al-Assad," says one opposition leader.

Some members of the SNC, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are concerned that a transitional government will cut their influence, while others worry that Western powers will influence the new government and ultimately persuade it to let Bashar al-Assad stay. A person who attended the Istanbul meeting says that half the group opposes even forming a transitional government, although doing so was part of the original agreement to form the coalition. Now a five-person committee including the SNC president will work on new proposals; the president is currently in Qatar seeking financial aid for any government that is formed. (Read more Syria stories.)

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