Syria’s main opposition coalition has started a push to form an interim government to provide support and services to people living in rebel areas.
Monday’s meeting in Istanbul is seen as the most serious attempt yet to bring together all the factions working to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s government. One of the first steps will be to elect an interim prime minister from twelve candidates.
Jamal Qaresli, Syrian opposition interim prime minister is one of those standing. “As a candidate I want a democratic Syria. We want the country to play a constructive role in the region together with Turkey and with other neighbours. We are aiming for democracy and equality. The nation is divided now, and we need to work together with other groups,” he said.
The coalition’s 73 members will vote on Tuesday from the shortlist which includes Syrian opposition politicians, exiled businessmen and academics. Our correspondent at the meeting Bora Bayraktar says: “While the crisis in Syria enters its third year for the first time the opposition groups are trying to elect a prime minister who will be responsible for civil service within Syria.”