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Statement by Senator John McCain on the Resignation of Syrian Opposition Leader Moaz Al-Khatib


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on the resignation today of Moaz al-Khatib as President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition:

"It is unfortunate that Moaz al-Khatib has resigned today as President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition. Sheikh Moaz is a fine and decent man who served the democratic cause of the Syrian people with dignity. I am confident he will find new ways to continue that service.

"The international community, and the United States in particular, bears some responsibility for today's setback. The Obama Administration spent a lot of diplomatic capital to facilitate the formation of the Syrian Opposition Coalition under Sheikh Moaz's leadership. But over the past several months of the Coalition's existence, the United States has done precious little to support their efforts. The moderate Syrian opposition is in a race against time to survive the radicalization of the conflict in Syria. Radicals and terrorists are emerging as the power on the ground in Syria because they are proving themselves relevant to people's lives. They are delivering humanitarian and medical assistance, and they are increasingly leading the resistance to Assad with the best fighters. If the United States remains on the sidelines of this conflict, the Syrian revolution will be hijacked by Al-Qaeda, and anti-American radicals will inherit post-Assad Syria.

"The resignation of Sheikh Moaz today must be seen in this broader context: It represents a failure of American leadership, which is only further weakening what is left of Syria's responsible, democratic opposition."

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