The West had attempted to use the previous leading opposition group, the Syrian National Council, to a similar end, but the SNC proved too fragmented and detached from rebel forces to be successful, leading the US to publicly call for a new approach two weeks ago. The SNC will hold 22 of the new body's 60 seats.
The BBC adds that Qatar, host of the opposition talks and a key backer of the rebels, also welcomed the unification. Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani said that he plans to travel Monday to "seek a full recognition of this new body" at the Arab League, which suspended Syria's membership due to the government's attacks on civilians.
Former SNC head Burhan Ghalioun told The New York Times that he hoped the world would act quickly to embrace the new group. “I think the difference will start to show right away on the ground as the people will feel that there is a political power that represents them, and one body that unites its opposition,” he said. “We expect international recognition in regional and international forums.”