EuropeMiddle EastSyria

So-called Syrian National Coalition sole representative of opposition: Germany

The German foreign minister says the foreign-sponsored so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) is the sole representative of Syrian opposition.

Guido Westerwelle made the remarks in Brussels on Monday ahead of an EU foreign ministers meeting in the Belgian capital, which is the de facto capital of the European Union (EU).

“It is the right timing to upgrade the political recognition of the Syrian National Coalition today,” Westerwelle told reporters.

“We think it will be an important means to promote the process of erosion in the regime of Assad,” he claimed.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Western states have been calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. However, Russia and China are strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.

Russia and China have thrice vetoed anti-Damascus resolutions at the United Nations Security Council.

Earlier in the day, Germany ordered four Syrian embassy staff members to leave the country until Thursday.

“With the expulsion of the four embassy employees announced today we are sending a clear message that we are reducing relations with the Assad regime to an absolute minimum,” Westerwelle said in a statement.

“We are counting on the (Syrian) National Coalition strengthening further and building as soon as possible functioning institutions for a political transition,” he added.

Westerwelle’s comments come in stark contrast with the Syrian opposition groups’ position inside the country that favor a political solution to the crisis.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey of arming the opposition.

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