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Monday, March 8, 2021

Seeking funding from Qatar, Syrian opposition postpones forming government

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Despite reports that Qatar has agreed to give the Syrian opposition some $20 million to help it form a transitional government, coalition leaders announced today that it is postponing any such moves until next month.

Qatar gave the aid at the request of Syrian National Coalition President Moaz Alkhatib, who flew in this week, the German Press Agency reported today.

The 70-member coalition, backed by Western and Gulf nations, has been struggling to form a unified government for months. Members told Reuters this week that financial stability was a must for any sort of coalition to stick.

Despite the cash infusion, opposition leaders meeting in Istanbul announced that they have postponed forming a government, Reuters said, adding that the coalition would revisit the issue in 10 days:

The committee would “consult opposition forces and the Free Syrian Army and friendly states to get their opinion about forming the government and the extent to which they can honour the necessary commitments for its financial and political viability,” the coalition said in a statement.

Alkhatib’s absence may have played a part in the breakdown of negotiations, the report added.

Previously, the news wire quoted an anonymous coalition member as saying:

“It seems that there won’t be a government unless Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib comes back from Qatar with enough to convince enough members of the coalition that any government they set up will be viable,” said one coalition member who declined to be identified.

Another added:

“Between the military effort and humanitarian and administration needs a transitional government needs up to $40 million a day to operate. There is no point creating a government that cannot meet the aspirations of the revolt,” another source said.

The opposition is set to meet again on Jan. 28 in Paris, along with representatives of some 20 countries that back the ousting of President Bashar Al Assad.

According to the UN, more than 60,000 people have been killed so far in the conflict in Syria, which first erupted in March 2011.

Credit: Photo by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/Turkey 

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