11 Nov 2012

Syrian opposition groups make progress on unity

4:11 pm on 11 November 2012

Syrian opposition groups meeting in Qatar say they have agreed in principle on a plan to unite against President Bashar al-Assad.

The agreement was reached after 12 hours to talks in Doha and is based on an initiative which envisages the formation of a transitional executive to deal with the international community and the channelling of aid.

Under the plan, the 10 member transitional government would be elected by a new 60 member umbrella group drawn from civilian activists, rebel fighters inside Syria and exiles who have dominated the Syrian National Council (SNC).

The SNC was once regarded as the leading opposition representative but is increasingly derided in Washington as being dominated by out-of-touch exiles.

The SNC had already twice asked for a postponement of the talks on plans for a broad-based government-in-waiting.

The talks are due to continue later on Sunday.