New Syrian Group Claims Legitimacy to Rival SNC
The son of Syria’s last democratically elected prime minister presented what he called an “interim government” on Thursday, saying it had the legitimacy that the main opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), lacked.
Nofal al Dawalibi, a Saudi-based businessman whose father Maarouf was prime minister before President Bashar al-Assad’s family took power in the 1960s, said his Free Syrian Transitional National Government could unite the opposition in a way the SNC had failed to do.
“We are creating another option. The only option at the moment is the SNC, but there are a lot of people that want to help, who have no trust in this organization,” Dawalibi told Reuters in Paris where he launched the group publicly.
Most Western and Arab states have given diplomatic backing to the SNC - a group led mostly by opposition figures abroad who have been negotiating with foreign powers to support the revolt - while urging it to do more to appeal to Syria’s minorities.
One Paris-based diplomat said the SNC was still deemed the main representation for Syrians and described Dawalibi’s movement as “not significant”.
Dawalibi said his group was more representative than the SNC which he said was influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood and would form an unacceptable government.
“If we want to get rid of a minority regime that has governed for 50 years, we are not going to let another minority take power,” Dawalibi told a news conference that included a Kurdish representative, a Syrian tribal representative and a member of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA). “Now you will hear about us.”
Dawalibi said his group had spoken to French, U.S. and Gulf Arab officials, and had plenty of support in Syria.
“Legitimacy comes from the inside,” Dawalibi said. “We have support from FSA generals, fighters in Syria, tribal systems and moderate Islamic schools,” he said. “This government will be approved by those inside Syria.”