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Turkey recognises new Syrian opposition

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (pictured) recognised Syria's new opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people on Thursday, urging other Muslim countries to do the same.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday that Turkey "recognises the Syrian National Council as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Syria."

Davutoglu made the comments during a ministerial meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) being held in Djibouti, according to Anatolia news agency.

Davutoglu also called on the international community to follow suit and give more support to the Syrian opposition, which emerged newly unified on Sunday after marathon talks in Doha.

“Turkey ... once again reiterates its recognition of the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and calls upon all our brothers in the OIC to do so,” Davutoglu said.

Western backing

On Tuesday, France became the first Western power to recognise the newly-formed opposition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and said the question of arming them must now be reviewed. French President François Hollande will meet the leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib in Paris on Saturday, his office said.

The new coalition has also won support from the UK and the United States, which stopped short of declaring it a government-in-exile.

Al-Khatib has urged the world to arm the rebels with "specialised weapons" to "cut short the suffering of the Syrians" in the 20-month war that has killed some 37,000 people.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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