Opposition takes Syria seat at Arab League summit

DAMASCUS - Syria's opposition National Coalition has taken the country's official seat at the Arab League summit in Qatar.

They were formally invited to assume the seat by summit president, the Emir of Qatar, at the opening of the two-day meeting.

The Syrian flag was replaced with the flag being used by the opposition.

It comes at a time of disarray within the National Coalition following the resignation of its head, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, on Sunday.

However, Mr Khatib is attending the summit and has said he still intends to give his speech there.

Both Mr Khatib and the newly-elected interim Prime Minister Ghassan Hitto were applauded by Arab leaders when they stepped forward to take Syria's official seat upon the invitation of the Emir.

The decision to invite the National Coalition to the summit has enraged Damascus.

"The League has handed Syria's stolen seat to bandits and thugs," Syria's official daily al-Thawra said.

In his opening statements, the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, called on the UN Security Council to help bring an end to the two-year conflict in Syria and hold those responsible to account in international courts.

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