League could recognise Syrian National Council

By Layelle Saad, GCC/Middle East Editor

Opposition intensifies talks with countries amid appalling situation
Dubai: The Syrian National Council intensified contacts this week to discuss developments in Syria, by holding a meeting in Qatar on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, some opposition officials also held talks with China, who along with Russia vetoed a UN draft resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's bloody crackdown on protesters. The veto which was a severe blow to international efforts to curb the violence in Syria, has led to an intensification in finding alternative solutions to deal with the situation.
Today will mark a week of escalated bombardment of Homs which opposition activists say killed at least 400 people, although there was no way to confirm the toll due to restrictions on foreign media access.
Sources participating in the meetings say a decision could be taken on Sunday during the Arab League meeting in Cairo to recognise the Syrian National Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people — another bold and defiant step, following the GCC's expelling of its Syrian ambassadors.
If the meeting agrees to recognise the SNC, offices could soon be opened in some Arab countries. On Wednesday UN chief Ban Ki-moon suggested renewal of an Arab League observer mission to Syria with bigger UN involvement unlike the first batch sent in January which was largely criticised for being ineffective.
Turkey has also proposed a "Friends of Syria" meeting to take place soon, which Russia has slammed as "illegitimate" likening it to a similar grouping of nations that supported military action in Libya, which Russia largely opposed. On the ground, the situation has been described by residents as "appalling". "There is no food, no water, no medical supplies, soon we will starve to death, we are trapped inside," one resident from Baba Amro said via telephone interview aired on Al Jazeera.