Danish foreign minister backs unified Syrian opposition

Denmark’s minister of foreign affairs has expressed approval of the unified opposition against the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Villy Søvndal’s comments came on Wednesday (14 November), a day after he joined EU’s top foreign affairs diplomats in Cairo to discuss the issue with their counterparts from the Middle East.

He told reporters following the meeting, “It is a positive development that the Syrian opposition has unified. The EU will continue to co-operate with the Arab League to support [the opposition]. It is important that the opposition has unified, so that they can offer a trustworthy alternative to President Bashar al-Assad and his forces,” the Ritzau news agency reported.

However, Søvndal said that although Copenhagen will back the effort, Denmark will not join France in distinguishing the organisation as the official authority on behalf of Damascus.

In a recent statement, French president Francois Hollande declared, “I announce today that France recognises the Syrian National Council as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and as the future government of a democratic Syria, allowing to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”

The opposition also gained support from the Germany and the United Kingdom, although France remains the only state to officially recognise the group as legitimate leaders.

The news comes amid ongoing civil unrest in the Arab state; the uprising has claimed in excess of 30,000 lives and has displaced nearly 2.5 million people, according to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

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