14 Nov 2012

France recognises Syrian opposition

9:01 am on 14 November 2012

France has officially recognised Syria's new opposition coalition and says it will consider arming the rebels once they create a government in waiting.

Syrian groups struck a deal in Doha this week to form a broad coalition to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

France has been concerned that weapons given to rebel forces would end up in the hands of radical Islamists.

But President Francois Hollande says as soon as the coalition is a legitimate government of Syria, France will reconsider that position.

EU foreign ministers have welcomed the new coalition as an important step forward, but stopped short of recognising it.