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Qatar offers venue for Syrian rebel envoy

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar’s prime minister is urging the new head of the Syrian opposition’s interim government to attend an Arab League summit in the Gulf nation later this week.

The offer would give the U.S.-educated Ghassan Hitto a powerful forum to press for greater Arab support in the battle to overthrow President Bashar Assad. But it could cause friction with countries such as Iraq, which has questioned whether the summit should completely rebuff the Assad regime.

Qatar is a main backer of the Syrian National Coalition and has called for more arming of the rebels. Syria’s civil war is expected to dominate the two-day summit beginning Tuesday.

Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said Sunday that Hitto would be welcomed. It was not immediately clear, however, whether he would attend.

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