Syrian opposition group to open New York, Washington offices

That visit could include a meeting with President Barack Obama, the source said.

Syrian opposition group to open New York, Washington offices

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Syrian National Coalition will open offices in New York and Washington as it prepares for meetings of Syrian opposition leaders with U.S. officials and U.N. Security Council members, a U.N. envoy and a Syrian opposition source said on Tuesday.

"That is an important step and it's obviously a potential vehicle for inviting over ... (coalition leader Moaz) Alkhatib to come to New York at some point," a senior Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Najib Ghadbian, an Syrian-American professor at the University of Arkansas, would head the New York office, he added. Ghadbian could not be reached immediately for comment.

Another diplomat said the purpose of the New York office would be to open a channel of communication with the U.N. Security Council, which has long been divided over Syria's 22-month-long conflict that has killed an estimated 60,000 people.

Russia and China support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and have vetoed three Security Council resolutions condemning it.

A source close to the Syrian opposition confirmed that the Washington office would be headed by Oubab Khalil, a realtor in Frisco, Texas. One of the first tasks of the Washington office would be to prepare for a possible trip to the United States by Alkhatib toward the end of the February, the source said.

That visit could include a meeting with President Barack Obama, the source said.

Khalil was not immediately reachable for comment.

Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari did not respond to a request for comment on the Syrian National Coalition's decision to open the offices in the United States.

Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2013, 09:59
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