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Syrian opposition leader resigns

Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, Syria's opposition leader, has announced his resignation from the National Coalition, his spokesman told Al Jazeera. Mohamed Ali said the resignation followed Saturday's meeting with the European Union, "which resulted in achieving nothing". In a statement released on his facebook page on Sunday, Al Khatib confirmed his resignation from the dissident group recognised by dozens of states and organisations as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. "I announce my resignation from the National Coalition, so that I can work with a freedom that cannot possibly be had in an official institution," Khatib said in the statement. "For the past two years, we have been slaughtered by an unprecedentedly vicious regime, while the world has looked on," Khatib said. "All the destruction of Syria's infrastructure, the detention of tens of thousands of people, the forced flight of hundreds of thousands and other forms of suffering have been insufficient for the international community to take a decision to allow the people to defend themselves," he added. His statement comes hours after the Arab League extended an invitation to the opposition coalition to attend the summit in Qatar next week. The pan-Arab bloc has suspended Assad's membership and recognised the Coalition as the legitimate representative of the people of Syria where a two-year conflict has killed more than 70,000 people. Khatib is a former imam and moderate Islamist who rose from independent ranks as a respected figure of dissent against the Damascus regime.

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