BEIRUT

Middle East

SNC to support, coordinate political defections

Syrian dissident Riad Seif attends a meeting of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, formed after the Syrian National Council (SNC) agreed to the new group, in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

BEIRUT: The just internationally recognized opposition Syrian National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces announced the formation of a new body Thursday aimed at coordinating efforts of political defectors from Syria.

In a statement, the coalition of mostly exiled Syrian dissidents said the new body would be responsible for encouraging defections and coordinating the work of those already defected to contribute to the preservation of state institutions in “new Syria.”

The body, which the statement said was formed in Amman, Jordan, earlier this month, will be headed by Abdo Hussameddin, the former Syrian deputy oil minister, who announced his defection from the government back in March.

“This provides an opportunity to capitalize on the experiences of these individuals and allow them to better contribute to building a new Syria and preserve local and civil state institutions. The Syrian Coalition sends a clear message to all public officials in the Syrian government asking them to defect and join the recently established union,” the statement from the coalition read.

The announcement follows news of the defection of the head of Syria’s military police, General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal Wednesday. While there have been a series of high profile military defections from the Syrian regime, so far there have been relatively few senior ranking military defections.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 28, 2012, on page 8.

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