Syrian National Coalition President Ahmed Mouaz al-Khatib in Rome on February 28, 2013
Syrian National Coalition President Ahmed Mouaz al-Khatib speaks during a press conference at a meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial" group in Rome on February 28, 2013. Syria's resigned opposition chief Khatib said he would address the Arab summit in Doha "in the name of the Syrian people," in a statement on Facebook. © Jacquelyn Martin - Pool/AFP/File
Syrian National Coalition President Ahmed Mouaz al-Khatib in Rome on February 28, 2013
AFP
Last updated: March 25, 2013

Resigned Syrian rebel chief to speak at Arab summit

Syria's resigned opposition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib said he would address the Arab summit in Doha "in the name of the Syrian people," in a statement on Facebook.

The opposition's envoy in Qatar Nizar al-Haraki told AFP that Khatib will head the opposition delegation filling the seat of Syria, which has been suspended from the Arab League, at the Tuesday summit.

"After performing ... prayers and consulting many trustworthy figures among them Nizar al-Haraki, I have decided to make a speech in the name of the Syrian people at the Doha summit," Khatib said in a statement on his Facebook page.

"This is not linked to the resignation which will be later discussed," he added.

Haraki told AFP that Khatib "will head the eight-member Syrian delegation at the summit and will occupy Syria's seat." The delegation will also include Syria's interim prime minister Ghassan Hitto.

Khatib resigned his post on Sunday, five days after the controversial election in Istanbul of Hitto, who pledged to form an interim government for the large swathes of territory inside Syria that have fallen into insurgent hands.

An opposition source told AFP that Khatib accused "certain countries, notably Qatar, of wanting to control the opposition" and of having imposed Hitto.

But Haraki said Monday that "the resignation has not been accepted and he is still coalition chief," adding that "what's between him (Khatib) and Hitto is a difference in opinions but not a dispute."

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