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Qatar urges Syrian opposition head to reconsider resignation

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

DOHA (Reuters) - Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said on Sunday he regretted the resignation of the head of the main Syrian opposition coalition, Moaz al-Khatib, and urged him to reconsider his decision.

Alkhatib, who headed the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) resigned on Sunday, in a blow to a diminishing moderate wing of the two-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

"We are very sorry for this, and I hope he reviews his resignation," Sheikh Hamad, who is also the prime minister of Qatar, a main supporter of the rebels, told reporters in Doha. Arab foreign ministers were meeting to prepare for an Arab summit in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I think this is a very important moment for the Syrians, especially while almost everyone agreed to give the seat of the Syrian state to the opposition. So we hope things will get corrected. We feel it's important for him not to lose this moment," he added.

Alkhatib's resignation came after the coalition berated him for offering Assad a deal and after the group went ahead, despite his objections, with steps to form a provisional government that would have further diminished his authority.

(Reporting by Regan Doherty; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Louise Ireland and Stephen Powell)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130324/qatar-urges-syrian-opposition-leader-reconsider-resignation