The New Syrian Karzai?
"Syria’s former prime minister Riyad Hijab, who defected from the Assad regime in August, has been named on proposed opposition council that has been set up in consultation with the US government as a possible transition government.
The new 51 member 'National Initiative Council' is due to be unveiled in Doha next week, sources in the Syrian opposition revealed to the Guardian.
As Foreign Policy magazine reported they confirmed that the new body will have only 15 seats for the fractured Syrian National Council.
"The new council is definitely an attempt to undermine the SNC," an opposition source said.
He also revealed that the new body would include former prime minister Hijab, as well as three seats for the Kurdish National Council, and one for Haytham Manna, from the internal opposition group the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change.
The US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford has been closely involved in drawing up the new council. He is understood to be concerned about the lack of representation from minorities including Alawites, the Assad clan's Shia sect.
Despite these concerns there no Alawites have been named on the new council. But places have been reserved for at least six "national figures" which could a leading Alawite.
It is unclear where the council will be based, but Turkey has been ruled out because of Kurdish involvement in the group.
The Syrian National Council is due to announce its own restructuring ahead of the meeting. Leading members are sceptical about the proposed National Initiative Council.
One said: "Ultimately the goal the goal of this is to form a shadow government. But we are not at that stage, right now ending the deadlock in Syria should be the priority".
Another said: "I'm not sure if it [the NIC] is going to see the light. I’m not confident about it."....."