Mark Udall, who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the statement below following the Obama administration's decisions with regard to Syria:
"I applaud the administration's move to formally recognize Syria's reorganized main opposition group as the sole 'legitimate representative' of the Syrian people. It sends a strong signal that the United States will continue to play a leading role in helping the Syrian people transition to a post-Assad future. I also believe it will help consolidate and strengthen opposition to the regime and permit the United States to offer increased diplomatic and financial support to the opposition.
"Secretary Clinton's designation this week of Jabhat al-Nusra - a militant Syrian rebel group with links to al-Qaida in Iraq - as a foreign terrorist organization is also a welcome development. This could help sideline al-Nusra and discourage other countries involved in helping the armed opposition from providing arms or assistance to the group. But al-Nusra has been an effective fighting force for the opposition. That's why it's important that, in addition to sanctioning al-Nusra, we step up our assistance to the opposition - to help ensure that the departure of Assad happens sooner rather than later and the next Syrian government is one that rejects extremism."