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Syrian Opposition Meets In Istanbul To Choose Prime Minister

A boy looks back at a building damaged by what activists say was shelling by government forces during fighting in Raqqa province on March 13.
Syria's opposition has opened a meeting in Istanbul to choose the head of an interim government for areas which are no longer under the control of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The meeting brings together members of the Syrian National Coalition, the opposition umbrella group which is recognized by dozens of countries and organizations as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Twelve candidates are seeking the prime minister’s job.

They include a former agricultural minister in the Syrian regime, as well as businessmen and other professionals.

The meeting comes two years into a conflict which started with peaceful protests but then degenerated into a civil war that has divided the population and left an estimated 70,000 people dead.

At least 1 million people have left Syria, with 4 million more being internally displaced.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP