Syrian opposition leader to address leaders at Doha summit despite resignation

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Despite resigning from his position as president of the Syrian National Coalition, Moaz Alkhatib still plans to address the Arab League in Doha this week, Reuters reports.

On his Twitter account, Alkhatib said, “This is a matter that has nothing to do with the resignation, which will be discussed later.”

Many Arab leaders are already in town for the Arab League summit, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Sheraton Doha. 

According to Qatar’s Prime Minister, the agenda will include the Syrian crisis, the Palestinian question and the need to overhaul the Arab League itself:

“If we want new perspectives to inspire us, if we want the Arab League to be a modern institution that is capable of coping with the changes taking places in the region and the rest of the world, then we must reform the organization,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said, according to QNA.

Alkhatib, the former imam of the Ummayad mosque in Damascus, was selected to lead the SNC during a meeting in Doha in November. But in a Facebook post explaining his resignation yesterday, the Guardian reports Alkhatib as saying: 

“I am keeping my promise today and announcing my resignation from the National Coalition so that I can work with freedom that is not available inside the official institutions.

All that has happened to the Syrian people – from [the] destruction of infrastructure to the arrest of tens of thousands, to the displacement of hundreds of thousands to other tragedies – is not enough for an international decision to allow the Syrian people to defend themselves.”

Resignation aside, the Arab League is widely expected to give the opposition Syria’s seat on the council, which was suspended in November 2011 amid  the government’s response to the anti-regime protests there.

Expect security to be tight this week around the Sheraton Doha and the Corniche as the summit gets into the thick of things.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by FreedomHouse2

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