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Syrian opposition at home forms coalition for peaceful change

(Xinhua)

08:17, May 03, 2012

DAMASCUS, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Around nine opposition parties and bodies in Syria have closed ranks and announced Wednesday the formation of a coalition of forces for peaceful change.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the new coalition stressed its antagonist to the current regime in Syria as well as "negative aspects" of the anti-regime movement, in reference to the armed attacks carried out by rebels against government troops and populated areas.

The coalition also reiterated the importance of national dialogue with all parties on the bases of rejecting foreign intervention in Syria.

The opposition coalition came apparently to forge a united front in face of a broad-based opposition that has been calling for foreign intervention in Syria since the first months of civil unrest in Syria.

It welcomed any initiative that would be conducive in solving the Syrian crisis, called for the release of all political detainees and urged the government to halt its crackdown. It also warned of foreign calls to arming the opposition, stressing that it would only devastate the country from inside.

Some countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have explicitly announced their desire to send arm and financial support to the armed rebels in Syria. The United States, however, said that it would support the rebels with "nonlethal means," such as communication devices.

On Wednesday, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali AbdulKarim Ali accused Arab political and security leadership of being behind the arms ship seized in Lebanon last week.

Ali said after meeting with Lebanese Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour that "the arms containers were destined to the Syrian opposition and their accomplices... the political and security leadership in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries are behind the incidents in Syria, Lebanon and the region."

The vessel Lutfallah II that carries the flag of Sierra Leone was stopped by the Lebanese navy off the northern coast on Friday and towed to the port of Selaata and then to the navy base in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

The Syrian government has repeatedly said that weapons are being smuggled from Lebanon to arm the rebel Free Syrian Army.

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