Syrian opposition opens embassy in Qatar

Ghassan Hitto (2R),  Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib (L) and George Sabra (R) and a Qatari official (2L) at the embassy inauguration.

Story highlights

  • Syrian opposition opens its first embassy in Doha, Qatar
  • The opening comes a day after opposition leaders got a seat at Arab League summit
  • That decision angered Syria's government

Syria's opposition opened an embassy Wednesday in Doha, Qatar, a day after Arab League representatives meeting there allowed the rebels to take Syria's seat at the summit.

The embassy is the first for the Syrian National Coalition, which has been recognized by more than 100 nations as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Other coalition ambassadors -- in Paris, London, Washington and the representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries all operate without a formal embassy building, according to Sarah Karkour with the coalition's media office.

The coalition is taking over the embassy building that formerly housed the diplomatic representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, which lashed out Wednesday at the Arab League's decision to seat rebel leaders at the summit.

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The government said the Arab League was in violation of its own charter for its decision to seat "an illegitimate party and raise a flag other than the Syrian national flag," the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Russia also objected to the Syrian National Coalition's role at the summit, according to the state-run RIA-Novosti news service.