Obama Says U.S. Not Ready to Recognize Syrian Opposition Group

President Barack Obama said the U.S. isn’t ready to recognize a new Syrian opposition coalition as a government in exile.

Obama said at a White House news conference today that the U.S. will be meeting with the opposition group, which was announced Nov. 11 after talks with Qatar.

Still, he said he wasn’t yet willing to join French President Francois Hollande, who announced yesterday that France recognizes the newly formed Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Earlier today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for more pressure on Syria and announced $30 million in humanitarian aid to those affected by the 20-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad that has killed thousands.

The upheaval has threatened to spill over to neighboring Turkey and Israel and to destabilize Lebanon and Jordan.

Syrian jets bombed a rebel-held town near the border with Turkey for a third day. Turkey, a NATO member, has warned that it will respond to any violation of its airspace. Israel has vowed to defend its borders as well.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at hnichols2@bloomberg.net Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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