The Obama administration announced yesterday that it was officially recognizing Syria’s main opposition group as the “legitimate representative” of its country’s people. But despite the United States’ recognition of these groups, the Canadian government is taking a more commonsensical approach and placing preconditions on its support:
Canada told the Syrian opposition Tuesday it must reject extremism and embrace minorities before Ottawa will recognize its legitimacy as a successor to President Bashar Al-Assad, according to a federal official.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird explained Canada’s preconditions for official recognition at a meeting with representatives of the opposition Syrian National Coalition in Morocco on Tuesday, the official said.
“He outlined the importance of rejecting extremism, the inclusion of minorities, and the importance of the role of women in a post-Assad era,” said the official, who did not want to be named.
From Obama’s comments, it seems that the president believes extremists within the faction should have an equal seat at the table.
“Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities,” Obama told ABC News. “To make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women’s rights and minority rights.”
So, why wouldn’t President Obama withhold U.S. recognition until the Syrian opposition groups rejected extremism? Wouldn’t this be in our best interest as well as theirs? Or would holding such a standard be considered “meddling”?