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Syrian opposition group elects new leader
Syrian National Council opposition group elects Kurd as new leader
By The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) ' Syria's main opposition group in exile, the Syrian National Council, has elected a Kurdish dissident as its new leader at a meeting in Turkey.

A statement issued by the SNC says Abdulbaset Sieda has been elected unanimously at a meeting Saturday night in Istanbul that stretched into the early hours of Sunday.

He succeeds liberal opposition leader Burhan Ghalioun who had offered to step down over mounting criticism of his leadership. The SNC has been plagued by infighting, hampering efforts by Western and Arab nations to help the opposition.

Ghalioun had presided over the council since it was formed last August.

The 56-year-old Sieda is a secular member of Syria's minority Kurd community. He lives in exile in Sweden.

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