November 11, 2012 / 9:12 PM / 5 years ago

Qatar, Turkey praise Syria unity deal, want international backing

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DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar's prime minister praised a U.S.-backed deal to set up a new Syrian opposition umbrella group on Sunday and Turkey's foreign minister said international backers of the uprising against Bashar al-Assad had no excuse not to back the group.

"This work has ended but the next step is more important," Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim told reporters after the new Syrian National Coalition voted popular preacher Moaz al-Khatib as its head.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said the opposition was no longer divided and needed full backing.

"The friends of Syria ... should support this agreement ... There is no excuse anymore," he said.

"All those who support the rightful struggle of the Syrian people should declare clear support for this agreement and be more active."

Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Sophie Hares

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