12/12/2012, 00.00
SYRIA
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Opposition towards recognition as the "legitimate representative of the Syrian people"

The decision is expected in today's meeting of the 'Friends of the Syrian People'. Obama anticipated the pronouncement yesterday. Moscow slams Washington, accusing US of violating Geneva agreements.

Marrakech (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The world's major powers are poised to give full political recognition to the Syrian National Coalition, a group that includes an increasing number of anti-Assad parties and movements, as the 'Friends of the Syrian People,' an organisation of about 100 countries, is set to open in Marrakech, Morocco.

On the eve of the talks, US President Barack Obama almost pre-empted the decision by announcing that his government would recognise the coalition as Syria's "legitimate representative".

"We've made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population, that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime," Obama said in an interview with ABC News.

Still, "Not everybody who's participating on the ground in fighting Assad are people who we are comfortable with," the US leader said, evidently referring to Jabhat al-Nusra, a group deemed a terrorist organisation by the US government.

Moscow has criticised Washington's decision, saying that recognising the opposition violates agreements reached in June in Geneva. The "US apparently has decided to bet solely on the armed victory of this national coalition," a "surprised" Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Today's meeting in Marrakech comes at a time when rebels are advancing towards Damascus. In fact, "All indications on the ground signal the end of the regime of Bashar al-Assad," Riad Seif, a leading opposition figure, said.

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