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MIDEAST > Syria rebels move HQ from Egypt to Turkey

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Free Syrian Army fighters carrying weapons run to take cover from snipers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s Qastal al-Harami. REUTERS Photo

Free Syrian Army fighters carrying weapons run to take cover from snipers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s Qastal al-Harami. REUTERS Photo

Barçın Yinanç Barçın Yinanç barcin.yinanc@hurriyet.com.tr

The headquarters of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) is being transferred from Egypt to Turkey, as the new administration that toppled President Mohamed Morsi has limited the movements of the Syrian opposition, according to the coalition’s Turkey representative.

Many Syrian dissidents are leaving the country, and the main headquarters of the SNC is being moved to Turkey, Khaled Khoja told the Hürriyet Daily News. “Many Syrian opposition figures are leaving Egypt, Mouaz al-Khatib, the former head of the Syrian National Coalition, has plans to settle in Turkey.”

Al-Khatib had resigned in recent months protest at the world’s “inaction” over violence in Syria.

The coup has had a negative effect on the Syrian opposition according to Khoja, who said some of the pro-opposition decisions which were taken during Morsi’s presidency were overturned under the new administration.

“Just a few days before the coup, a meeting on Syria took place in Cairo. Morsi had said they would freeze diplomatic relations with the Bashar al-Assad regime. Right after the coup, this decision was overturned and the new regime said they would upgrade relations with Syria,” Khoja said.

Egyptian Interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said last month that the country continued to support the Syrian uprising but that Cairo had no intention of “waging jihad” in Syria. Fahmy said Morsi’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with war-torn Syria would be “re-examined,” while stressing that did not mean they would “resume or not resume.”

He said Egypt’s new military rulers had re-imposed a visa regime on Syrians, who used to enjoy visa-free travel even during the times of Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for decades before being toppled by a popular uprising two years ago.

Khoja also said a lynch campaign was being conducted against Syrians in Egypt.

August/17/2013

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