Ghassan Hito (2R) attends the inauguration of the first Syrian interim government embassy in Qatar on March 27, 2013
Prime Minister of the interim government of Syria Ghassan Hito (2R) attends the inauguration of the first Syrian interim government embassy to open in Qatar, in the capital Doha on March 27, 2013. Hitto has begun talks to form an interim government of 11 ministries to administer the whole of Syria, the opposition said on Saturday. © Karim Sahib - AFP/File
Ghassan Hito (2R) attends the inauguration of the first Syrian interim government embassy in Qatar on March 27, 2013
AFP
Last updated: April 6, 2013

Rebel government aims to hold sway across Syria, says opposition

Syrian rebel prime minister Ghassan Hitto has begun talks to form an interim government of 11 ministries to administer the whole of Syria, the opposition said on Saturday.

"The interim government is the executive authority that will extend its authority over all national Syrian territory, and it will consist of 11 ministries," said the main opposition Syrian National Coalition.

Nominees for each post must "be able to work from within Syrian borders," said the Coalition. "The nominee cannot be a pillar of the current regime (of President Bashar al-Assad) or have committed crimes against the Syrian people."

The opposition has been divided over the need for an interim government and over Hitto's election as premier at a meeting in Istanbul last month.

After the Coalition's vote to name Hitto, a dozen prominent opponents froze their membership of the umbrella group accusing the powerful Muslim Brotherhood bloc of having pushed through the nomination.

Mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army chief Selim Idriss has said a key condition for accepting an interim government was that its authority should cover the whole of Syrian territory, not just areas under rebel control.

The Coalition said the government will comprise ministers of defence, interior, foreign affairs, local administration, economy and public resources, education, agriculture and water, health, infrastructure, relief and justice.

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