Syria’s provisional prime minister Ghassan Hitto, who was elected by opposition leaders on March 19, says he will not hold talks with the government of President Bashar al-Assad:
At a meeting in Istanbul, Hitto was voted in by the Syrian National Opposition to govern what it calls the “liberated areas”.
“We confirm here that there is no place here for dialogue with the Syrian regime,” Hitto said.
He is tasked with heading up a provisional government for large areas of Syria no longer controlled by President Assad. State and rebel forces have been locked in conflict for two years.
Syrian Opposition delegate Mohammed Farouk Tayfour said: “The main challenges for Ghassan Hitto are issues such as the security situation in the liberated territories, especially with regard to the police and the judiciary – to re-establish normal civilian life”.
Euronews correspondent Bora Bayraktar reported from Istanbul: “The real hardship starts now. Will the new prime minister be able to establish a government inside Syria? The delegates leave this meeting with that question on their minds.”