Syria’s divided opposition factions have begun four days of talks in Qatar, seeking a common front to gain international recognition – and weapons to oust President Assad.
It is the first concerted attempt to align foreign-based opposition groups with the rebels’ military campaign.
Leaders hope the meeting will pave the way for a follow-up conference next week.
“We hope (that) if the Syrians will find a way to choose their leadership on the November 8, in this case the whole world will be behind them, to help them,” said Riad Seif, leader of the Syrian National Initiative (SNI).
The US has called for an overhaul of the opposition leadership to include front line rebels.
Tensions between Islamists and secularists, and groups at home and abroad, have marred attempts to forge unity.