Reuters reports: Syria’s opposition hit deadlock on Friday in talks to elect a new leader, as the toppling of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood dealt a blow to its most influential faction.
The stalemate is preventing the main players in the Syrian National Coalition from reaching a deal acceptable to their Saudi and Qatari backers, who want to strengthen the opposition to counter an onslaught by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria’s civil war.
Sources in the Arab- and Western-backed coalition said the fate of an agreement hinges on the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the only organized group in the opposition, which holds a balance of votes between a Saudi-backed and a Qatari-backed candidate.
But the group is reeling from this week’s political blow its mother branch in Egypt, where the armed forces intervened to topple Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after mass street protests.
“The atmosphere is subdued. The Brotherhood in Egypt, and by extension in Syria and elsewhere, took a blow, but even their opponents feel that the Middle East lost a historic opportunity to convince Islamists to embrace democracy,” a coalition official said in Istanbul, where the opposition is meeting. [Continue reading…]