Kurds walk out of Syrian opposition meeting
Members of Syrian opposition groups attend the Syrian Opposition Conference in Cairo on July 2, 2012.
A meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Cairo turned into a melee after a Syrian Kurdish group walked out and scuffles and fistfights broke out.
"The Kurds withdrew because the conference rejected an item that says the Kurdish people must be recognized," Abdel Aziz Othman of the National Kurdish Council said on Tuesday after the end of the two-day conference, Reuters reported.
"This is unfair and we will no longer accept to be marginalized," he added.
At the beginning of the meeting on Monday, Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby called on opposition factions to unite against the Syrian government.
"There is an opportunity before the conference of Syrian opposition today that must be seized, and I say and repeat that this opportunity must not be wasted under any circumstance," El-Araby said.
The gathering, convened by the Arab League, brought together 250 members of the Syrian opposition in Cairo.
On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would not attend the July 6 meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Paris.
"Since the formation of the Syria Action Group on June 30 in Geneva, other forums to discuss resolution of the conflict are no longer needed," he said.
"The Group of Friends from its very inception has had the goal of supporting only one, foreign-based portion of the Syrian opposition," he added.
The United States, Britain, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are leading members of the group.
Syria has been experiencing unrest ever since March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.
The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
Damascus also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.