Syrian opposition seek to self-govern | News | DW | 22.02.2013
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Syrian opposition seek to self-govern

Opposition leaders meeting outside of Syria say have agreed to form a government in the rebel-held areas of the war-torn country. They pledged to name a symbolic "prime minister" for regions they control.

The Syrian opposition renewed and solidified their efforts on Friday to form their own provisional government in order to protect rebel-held areas.

"You have a situation developing where chaos reigns in liberated areas while, relatively, there is still fuel, electricity and basic services in the Assad-held regions," a diplomat in contact with the opposition said.

The opposition feared that their inability to provide services, combined with increased reports of indiscipline and looting in rebel areas, would undermine support for their cause.

Weighing up options

The Syrian National Coalition, an umbrella group of opposition political players in the country, met in Cairo and listened to members of a committee formed to help decide on the viability of a government and whether it could have enough financial and diplomatic support to thrive.

The coalition then decided on Friday to meet in Istanbul on March 2 and choose a prime minister to head a provisional government.

"We agreed to form a government to run the affairs of the liberated areas," spokesman Walid al-Bonni said after the meeting in Cairo.

The date was set after a deal was reached between a block in the coalition including the powerful Muslim Brotherhood and others who preferred a speedy formation of a government.

Estimates of several billion dollars per month have been quoted as the required sum for a provisional government to operate properly in rebel-held areas, but its financial backing falls well short of that.

tm/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)