Syrian opposition must get organised: France

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The Syrian National Council group of movements opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad needs to be better orgnaised before France will recognise it, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Thursday.

"The SNC must get organised," Juppe told RMC radio, excluding immediate official recognition of the confederation of most anti-Assad groups protesting Assad's regime in Syria.

"We have contacts with them, I saw Mr Burhan Ghaliun in Paris, who's the president. We help them, we have contact and we encourage them to get organised," he added.

The CNS has so far only been officially recognised by the new post-Kadhafi Libyan authorities.

Juppe hit out again at the Damascus regime, saying that "the brutal, savage repression being carried out for months cannot continue."

He hailed the "turning point" of "neighbouring countries realising that you can no longer trust Bashar al-Assad" after the Arab League voted to suspend Syria over the bloody suppression of protests.

Given permanent UN Security Council member Russia's opposition to sanctions on the Syrian regime, Juppe said France was trying to get a resolution passed by the UN's General Assembly.

"We've drawn up a draft resolution at the United Nations General Assembly calling for an end to the repression and the beginning of a reform process," he said.

France on Wednesday said it was recalling its ambassador to Damascus after French and other nations' diplomatic missions were attacked by pro-Assad mobs.

Arab leaders on the same day gave al-Assad three days to halt his "bloody repression" of anti-regime protests the UN says has killed more than 3,500 people, or risk sanctions.

© 2011 AFP

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