A meeting that was scheduled to convene in Damascus Saturday to discuss ways of forming a shadow government has been cancelled in protest of the death toll of Friday's nationwide rallies, pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV reported.
The meeting was initially scheduled to be held in Damascus and Istanbul simultaneously. Around 45 dissidents and representatives of opposition parties were invited to the meeting, Xinhua reported.
Haitham al-Maleh, a lawyer and the chairman of the preparatory committee for the national salvation conference, reportedly said the would-be government will combine non-political experts and independents and will nominate shadow ministers.
The step, however, was rejected by other prominent opposition figures. Burhan Ghallyoun, a dissident and professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris, criticized in a statement al-Maleh's intention to declare a transitional government in exile.
"It's a dangerous precedent in the Syrian opposition figures' dealings among each other," he said.
The conference, whose organizers have said they didn't and won' t seek permission from the Syrian authorities, was meant to coincide with another one that would be held in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday.