Syria opposition refuses their leader al-Khatib's resignation
BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse
Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib. AFP PhotoThe Syrian National Coalition has refused the resignation of its leader Ahmad Muaz al-Khatib, the opposition bloc said in a statement released on March 24 hours after he announced he was quitting.
Neither the Coalition's presidential office nor its general assembly has accepted Khatib's resignation. "They are asking Mr Moaz al-Khatib to go back to his work as the president of the Coalition," the English-language statement said.
"Khatib has led the Syrian National Coalition at a very critical stage. He has pushed the Coalition forward skilfully, and has gained popularity and acceptance among the Syrian people," it added.
"Khatib will continue the management of the Coalition at this stage according to the agreement of the General Assembly's members." But a Coalition spokesman admitted to AFP that it was unclear whether Khatib would go back to running the group or not.
"We will have to wait and see whether he agrees to return to the Coalition's leadership," said Soner Ahmed Taleb.
Khatib's resignation came just five days after the controversial election in Istanbul of rebel prime minister, Ghassan Hitto, who pledged to form an interim government for the large swathes of territory inside Syria that have fallen into insurgent hands.
Khatib resigned because he was under pressure from "several states, including Arab states, which aimed to make the interim government fail. This pressure annoyed Khatib", Taleb said.
"I announce my resignation from the National Coalition, so that I can work with a freedom that cannot possibly be had in an official institution," Khatib had said earlier on March 24 in a statement published on his Facebook page.
"For the past two years, we have been slaughtered by an unprecedentedly vicious regime, while the world has looked on," Khatib said.
"All the destruction of Syria's infrastructure, the detention of tens of thousands of people, the forced flight of hundreds of thousands and other forms of suffering have been insufficient for the international community to take a decision to allow the people to defend themselves," he added.
Syria insurgents refuse to recognise new rebel PM: FSA
Meanwhile, Syria's mainstream insurgent Free Syrian Army does not recognise Ghassan Hitto, a rebel prime minister chosen by dissidents after hours of heated last week, a rebel official told AFP on March 24.
"We in the Free Syrian Army do not recognise Ghassan Hitto as prime minister because the (main opposition) National Coalition did not reach a consensus," when they chose him on March 18, said Louay Muqdad, FSA political and media coordinator.