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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:23 AM

U.S. Stops Short Of Recognizing Syrian Opposition Body [View all]

By Mariam Karouny
BEIRUT | Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:09am EST

(Reuters) - The United States declined to follow France in fully recognizing a fledgling Syrian opposition coalition on Wednesday, saying the body must prove its worth, after its predecessor was dogged by feuding and accusations of Islamist domination.

Syria decried the new grouping, which it said had closed the door to a negotiated solution with President Bashar al-Assad.

"The whole world, and Syria too, says the problem in Syria should be solved in a peaceful framework and through a national dialogue, (but) the first decision taken after forming the coalition in Doha was to reject dialogue and to continue the war," Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said.

"They want to destroy Syria," he told Russia Today in an interview that was also carried on Syria's state news agency.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the formation of the coalition, which supersedes the widely discredited Syrian National Council as the face of the Syrian opposition, was an important step, but did not offer it full recognition or arms.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/14/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE88J0X720121114

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