Syrian opposition to try to resolve rift, Belgian FM says

Two leading Syrian opposition groups voiced their desire Thursday to resolve a rift and unite against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Belgium's foreign minister said after talks with the two.

Saying divisions were "playing in the hands of the Syrian regime," Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders called for a "unified opposition platform," his office said in a statement.

Reynders held separate talks with the leader of the Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, who is based in France, and a representative of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, Haythem Manna.

"Due to the serious situation in Syria, the two groups said they were willing to continue their dialogue in order to reach a common position," the statement said.

The SNC and NCB signed a political agreement in Cairo on Friday outlining a "transitional period" should Assad's regime be toppled by a pro-democracy uprising that first erupted in March.

But the deal appeared in tatters after the SNC said in a Facebook posting on Tuesday that the "document conflicts with the SNC's political program and with the demands of the Syrian revolution."

The SNC is widely regarded as the most inclusive of Syria's opposition alliances, with representation from both the Muslim Brotherhood and parties drawn from the Christian and Kurdish minorities.

The NCB is an umbrella group of Arab and Kurdish nationalists, Marxists and independents.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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