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The New Arab

Three Syria opposition coalition members resign over 'Russian control of peace talks'

The SNC was formed in Qatar in 2012 as the main opposition umbrella organisation [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 April, 2018

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Three senior members of a leading Syrian opposition body have resigned in protest of what they said was the organisation's decision to "move away from its revolutionary path".

Three senior members of a leading Syrian opposition body have resigned in protest of what they said was the organisation's decision to "move away from its revolutionary path".

Syrian National Coalition [SNC] members George Sabra, Suheir Atassi and Khaled Khoja announced on Wednesday that they were stepping down from their posts, they said on social media.

"The Coalition… is no longer devoted to the principles of the revolution and the goals of the [Syrian] people," Sabra said in a Facebook post.

"The methods and measures adopted... do not abide by the will of its members and the independent Syrian national vision," he added.

In a Twitter posting, Atassi said she had left the Turkey-based organisation because current efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian conflict had fallen in line with Russian desires.

"The Russian path will re-establish the Assad regime and the war criminals, undermining a real political solution," Atassi said.

The SNC was formed in Qatar in 2012 as the main opposition umbrella organisation against President Bashar al-Assad.

UN-led peace talks in Geneva have made little progress in eight rounds.

This has been in part because Assad's government has paid little interest in them, and Russia, Iran and Turkey launched a rival process in the Kazakh capital Astana last year.

The SNC boycotted Russian-sponsored trilateral talks in November in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The opposition body has long called for a political solution to the conflict that would see Assad step down from power, a move that the Syrian regime and its close allies Russia and Iran have rejected.

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