Obama: US recognizes Syria's main rebel group

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared Syria’s main opposition group the sole “legitimate representative” of its country’s people Tuesday, deeming the move “a big step” in the international diplomatic efforts to end Syrian President Bashar Assad’s embattled regime.

Obama said the newly formed Syrian Opposition Council “is now inclusive enough” to be granted the elevated status, which paves the way for the greater U.S. support for the organization.

Recognition of the council as the sole representative of Syria’s diverse population brings the U.S. in line with Britain, France and several of America’s Arab allies, which took the same step shortly after the body was created at a meeting of opposition representatives in Qatar last month.

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