Foreign ministers representing the 27 nation European Union have issued a statement recognizing the newly formed Syrian National Coalition, following the lead of France, Turkey and the Arab League.
Al Arabiya reported the statement said: “The EU considers them legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people. This agreement represents a major step towards the necessary unity of the Syrian opposition."
The move does not equal full diplomatic recognition as each member nation must recognize the Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime individually, according to en.rian.
Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, had urged other European nations to follow France's lead in recognizing the coalition. The BBC reported he said: "I request European states to grant political recognition to the coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and to give it financial support. When we get political recognition, this will allow the coalition to act as a government and hence acquire weapons and this will solve our problems."
Not all the opposition factions in Syria support the new coalition. Digital Journal reported 14 Islamic groups have rejected the Syrian Coalition and have announced their intent to fight for an Islamic state.