Syrian rebel leader calls for 'Marshall Plan'

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BERLIN — A Syrian opposition leader called today for a massive aid program to help rebuild his country after President Bashar Assad’s regime falls, warning that a lack of economic development could open the door to extremism.

A top German official representing donor nations, meanwhile, said Syria’s opposition factions must overcome their current divisions.

Abdelbaset Sieda, the head of the Syrian National Council, told a meeting of Syrian opposition representatives and diplomats that Syria would need a program similar to the Marshall Plan, the post-World War II European reconstruction effort, if the Assad regime collapses.

He said Assad’s regime has devastated public finances and institutions to such an extent that Syria won’t be able to rely immediately — or solely — on oil revenues and taxes in any rebuilding effort.

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