French President Francois Hollande made France the first western government to recognize the Syrian opposition Coalition.
In a press conference, he said, “I announce today that France recognises the Syrian national coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and as future government of a democratic Syria, allowing it to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”
When asked about whether France would arm the group, he stated, “On the question of weapons deliveries, France did not support it as long as it wasn’t clear where these weapons went. With the coalition, as soon as it is a legitimate government of Syria, this question will be looked at by France, but also by all countries that recognize this government.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the Coalition would have to prove itself, before the United Kingdom would give it formal recognition. “We want to see that they have support inside Syria. That is a very crucial consideration. If they do all these things, well then, yes, we will be able to recognize them as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”
On Monday, the Gulf States declared the Coalition to be the only representative body of the Syrian people.