“The committee members recognize Mr. Al Khatib’s distinct role and tireless efforts during the past five months presiding over the Coalition. In light of Mr. Al Khatib’s positive national and international efforts, the Presidential Committee will issue a letter of gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the political establishment. Meanwhile, the Presidential Office has designated Mr. George Sabra as the Acting President of the Syrian Coalition, with the cooperation and consultation of the remaining Presidential Committee members and vice presidents.”
Sabra, who until now led the Syrian National Council, will be the Coalition’s caretaker leader until at least May 10, when the Coalition is scheduled to meet for leadership elections, according to AFP.
Sabra has lived in Syria for most of his life and has been jailed many times for dissent. In October 2011, he fled to Paris to help form the post-uprising opposition.
Moaz Al-Khatib announced his resignation from the Syrian Coalition several weeks ago due to failure of international community to end the conflict in Syria. Yesterday, on April 20, 2013, during the Friends of Syria conference, Mr. Moaz Al-Khatib confirmed his resignation, but added that he wishes to continue representing the local councils in Damascus, within the Coalition, once his resignation is accepted.
Meanwhile, at a press conference in Istanbul following his designation as interim opposition leader, Sabra denounced the Assad regime for the recent massacre outside of Damascus. Earlier, a watchdog group said that more than 100 people were found dead in a town near Damascus.
On Sunday, the main opposition National Coalition urged Hizbullah to immediately withdraw its forces from Syria adding its involvement in Syria’s conflict could drag Lebanon and the region into the conflict.