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Syrian opposition seeks Qatar backing

Syrian opposition seeks Qatar backing

The head of Syria's opposition coalition has flown to Qatar to secure promises of financial aid for a transitional government in rebel-held areas, sources at negotiations in Istanbul said on Sunday.

The talks on agreeing a transitional government had been hit by disagreement over whether a transitional government could survive when the Syrian National Coalition President Moaz Alkhatib left in the middle of deliberations, the sources said.

The talks launched Saturday are the opposition's second bid to form a transitional government, with its credibility at stake as the country slides into sectarian conflict between majority Sunnis and President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite sect.

The Syrian opposition is set for more talks in Paris on January 28, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told radio station Europe 1.

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Unarmed Syrian opposition welcomed to join the Cabinet

Any opposition parties that lay down their weapons and agree to take part in a national dialogue are welcomed to join a new Cabinet with wide executive powers, Syria’s foreign minister Walid al-Moallem said in an interview with state TV.

“I tell the young men who carried arms to change and reform, take part in the dialogue for a new Syria and you will be a partner in building it,” Moallem stated, adding that “those who want foreign intervention will not be among us.”

The Syrian government has already started contacting “representatives of the Syrian people,” Moallem added.

The top Syrian diplomat said that the development of the Charter of National Reconciliation, a key document that will determine the contours of the future of Syria, will be completed within two to three months.

At the same time, he said, the government had "not prepared the text of the document as it is to be put forward by the participants."

The Charter will then be voted on in a national referendum.

Earlier in January President Bashar Assad proposed a national reconciliation plan which included talks with representatives of the opposition parties, elections and a new constitution.

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