Syrian opposition figures expect little change if Romney wins


The Syrian National Council meets in Doha, Qatar. (Karim Jaafar -- AFP/Getty Images)

DOHA – Dozens of Syrian opposition figures met for the general assembly of the Syrian National Council (SNC) on Tuesday to discuss how to pull the fractured opposition together. Many of the opposition leaders wore scarves emblazoned with the Syrian rebel flag and huddled for discussions in small groups at the Ritz-Carlton hotel where the meeting was held.

Many of the opposition representatives were focused on an internal election for the leadership of the SNC that was scheduled for Wednesday and seemed apathetic about the results of the U.S. election thousands of miles away.

"I don't think there will be much difference who wins," said Bassam Ishak, a senior member of the SNC who worked as a civil engineer in the Washington, D.C. area for several years. 

Ishak has U.S. citizenship but said he hasn't had time to focus on the key issues in the U.S. election and didn't vote. "I've been spending all my time on this," Ishak said, pointing at the opposition meeting room. "I couldn't with a clean conscience go and vote."

Haytham Rahmeh, an SNC member currently based in Turkey, was also skeptical that the U.S. elections would change the U.S. government's policy on handling the Syrian crisis or its relationship with the Syrian opposition. 

"The American political system is making decisions, not individuals," Rahmeh said. "It doesn't matter if Romney or Obama wins."

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