Syria's opposition chief Ahmed Jarba speaks during a Foreign Affairs Committee meeting at the European Union (EU) Headquarters in Brussels on March 18, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS)
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A growing rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar over the emirate's support for the Muslim Brotherhood has sharpened a power struggle within the Syrian opposition at a critical time for the main opposition body.While the row between the Gulf states, which saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain pull their ambassadors from Qatar last week, has been seen primarily as a response to concerns about Qatar's sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, it has thrown tensions between rival blocs in the Syrian opposition into relief. The coalition supplanted the Syrian National Council in 2012, amid accusations it was dysfunctional and dominated by the Brotherhood.Disappointed members aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, the SNC and opposition power broker Mustafa Sabbagh quit en masse, but the move was considered as a way for Saudi Arabia to enhance its role in backing the coalition over Qatar and Turkey, which support and host the Brotherhood.Mubarak said that Saudi Arabia's policy involved the contradiction of labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, while supporting the Syrian opposition.
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