Report: Burhan Ghalioun Visited Beirut this Week

Posted on: June 29, 2012 at 00:55
The former chief of the main opposition Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun visited Beirut during the past two days “on a secret visit”, revealed al-Jadeed television on Thursday.

It said that he held talks with a number of Lebanese officials away from the media spotlight.

He also recorded an interview that will be broadcast by an Arabic satellite channel at an undisclosed date, added al-Jadeed.

Ghalioun left Beirut for Syria and likely headed to the city of Homs, it continued.

It remains unclear if he entered Lebanon through the international airport or by land, stated the report.

On Tuesday, Ghalioun told Agence France Presse that he visited Syria for a few hours on Tuesday to ''boost the morale'' of rebels.

A senior SNC executive board member, he spoke to AFP in Beirut by telephone after his first visit to Syria in more than two years, and said he entered the country secretly and had ''discussions with revolutionaries.''

''The visit was aimed at boosting the morale of rebels,'' who are fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Ghalioun said after returning to neighboring Turkey.

''The visit was also a bit to offer compassion to our people who have been killed, massacred and slaughtered'' by regime forces, he added.

The former SNC chief said he visited ''several regions in Idlib province'' a rebel stronghold in northwest Syria near the border with Turkey.

''The regime is very weak and has lost control on the ground,'' he added.

''Today Syria is being rebuilt by its own citizens,'' he said.

Ghalioun resigned in May to avert divisions within the opposition bloc, after activists on the ground accused him of monopolizing power. But he remains one of the main opposition leaders and a member of the executive board of the SNC.

Earlier this month, the SNC named Kurdish activist Abdel Basset Sayda to replace Ghalioun in a bid to gain broader appeal that could embrace all groups.
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